The Consumer Affairs Authority has been instructed not to proceed with legal action relating to the new hybrid 18-litre cylinder introduced by Litro Gas Lanka, a top official of the CAA revealed yesterday.
“CAA is not filing legal action due to political pressure. Selectively applying the law is extremely worrisome,” asserted CAA Executive Director Thushan Gunawardena.
The CAA and Litro Gas Lanka have been locking horns over the new cylinder, with the former insisting the product is in violation of multiple regulations and misleading the public, while Litro Gas Chairman Anil Koswatte contends the company is acting within legal parameters.
Litro Gas recently introduced the new cylinder, priced at Rs. 100 less and featuring a new composition, claiming it is more efficient than the 12.5 kg cylinder. The new 18-litre cylinder equals 9.7 kg of gas despite being supplied in the same 12.5 kg cylinder.
The CAA however insists that Litro does not possess sufficient evidence to prove its assertions relating to efficiency. “Litro Gas is lying about the composition. The test reports are in contradiction to the cylinder composition claimed by Litro. It is lying to the regulator and providing false information to the Government, with scant regard for the law,” said Gunawardena.
“Test report documents show the butane and propane composition of the 12.5 kg cylinder as being roughly in the 50-50% range. The test report on the new 18L cylinder shows similar composition – butane/propane to be between 50-50%. It is the same gas that is inside both cylinders. Litro’s letter to CAA claims that the 12.5kg cylinder has 80% butane and 20% propane, falsely claiming the composition to mislead the CAA. Therefore the claims about high efficiency, maximum safety, high capacity and so on are unsubstantiated claims,” emphasised Gunawardena.
However, Koswatte denied the charges, stating: “CAA cannot say that. We have the certificate that shows the 18-litre cylinders contain 50-50% propane and butane. It used to be 25% propane and 75% butane in the 12.5kg cylinder but we have increased propane by 25% in the new cylinder and therefore the efficiency is higher now.”
According to Koswatte, the company is innovating in line with global developments in the LPG sector, where in countries like the UK and Japan, 100% propane is provided.
“When you increase propane as much as possible, you can cook more in a shorter time. The 18-litre can equals 9.7 kg as opposed to 12.5 kg, but we are using the same can because more space is needed for evaporation with propane.”