Story in pics: Kazakhstan protests as prices of vehicle-powering LPG rises
Prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas which powers many vehicles in Kazakhstan have seen a rise in recent times, leading many to protests. Some of these protests have turned violent.
Kazakhstan is in a state of turmoil after massive protests rocked the western town of Zhanaozen and is now threatening to spread to other parts. The protesters have been demanding a check on rising prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas or LPG which powers many vehicles in the country.
According to a report in EurAsia, Kazakhstan had started to gradually de-subsidize LPG prices from 2019 in order to allow the market to dictate prices. In recent times, the prices have seen a rise from 60 tenge ($0.14) to 120 tenge ($0.28) per liter.
Government estimates suggest a majority of vehicles in many parts of the country run on LPG. Protestors have raised concerns over rising LPG prices taking a toll on personal finances and on commodity pricing. Protests in many parts have also turned violent.In this photo, a vehicle is seen burning during protests on a road in Almaty.
Western Kazakhstan is particularly affected despite being a region that is quite rich in oil and gas. Reports suggest that commodities often have a higher price here because reaching some of the far-flung places here isn't easy and drives up cost.
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The Kazakh government has not just defended the move to move to electronic trading but has also accused many fuel stations of price-fixing. Backers of the government say the protests against LPG prices is only a pretext for some quarters to launch an attack against the government.
Protesters are seen taking part in a rally over a hike in energy prices in Almaty. Despite conciliatory moves by the government, the anger on the street is very palpable and there is a chance that the government may take a U-turn on market pricing.
In the meanwhile, there have been reports of several deaths among both security personnel as well as protestors.
First Published Date: 07 Jan 2022, 14:12 PM IST
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