A sudden spike in gasoline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices has led to increase public transport fares in some regions of Tajikistan.

Thus, rising fuel prices have led to a 25 percent increase shared minibus taxi fare in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) – the shared minibus tax fare in Khorog has risen from 2.00 somonis on November 2 to 2.50 somonis.

Eight-seat Chinese Hafei minivans, known among the population as Tangem (named after a female Korean soap opera star popular on local television), are used as shared minibus taxis in Khorog.

Kishvar Amirshoyev, a spokesman for GBAO governor, told Asia-Plus in an interview that bus fare has risen in Khorog from 1.50 somonis to 2.00 somonis (33-percent increase). 

Recall, GBAO local authorities expressed serious concern about increase in prices of petroleum products in the region in late October.     

This issue was discussed at a meeting held by the GBAO deputy governor, Anvar Immatshozoda, in Khorog on October 30.

 Senior representatives of the regional health directorate, antimonopoly agency, standardization agency, as well as owners of Khorog-based drug stores and entrepreneurs engaged in delivering petroleum products to the region participated in the meeting.

It was noted at the meeting that due to rising fuel prices, drivers engaged in private carrying intend to raise fares. 

Meanwhile, an official source within the Sughd public transport directorate told Asia-Plus in an interview that bus service has been temporarily suspended in Khujand, the capital of Sughd province, since October 26 due to rising fuel prices. 

The source further noted that public transport fares in Khujand have remained unchanged despite the fuel price hike.  

Public transport fares in the southern province of Khatlon have also not changed. 

Over the past week, the price for one liter of liquefied natural gas in Dushanbe has risen from 8.00 somonis to 8.30 somonis, with similar price rises in other parts of the country.

A sudden spike in NGL prices may lead to increase in the prices for basic food products in Tajikistan as more than 60 percent of motor vehicles in the country use liquefied natural gas as fuel.

Tajikistan has faced rising liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices and is looking for alternative fuel supplies as Kazakhstan has decided to temporarily halt LNG exports and Russia has released free prices for this type of fuel.   

Kazakh media reports say Kazakhstan has stopped liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propane and butane exports for the period of three months to ensure its domestic market is fully supplied.

Kazakhstan, which is Central Asia’s biggest oil producer, provides the bulk of Tajikistan’s LNG imports, accounting for about 86 percent of Tajikistan’s LNG imports.