No Free Ride

The news this morning was talking about something that will be of interest to all who use the small gas containers from Tropigas and Panagas.

You may not know it, but the government subsidizes the small tanks. That is why they are so cheap. It costs me $5.12 when I pick up my tank at the local Chinese market. I think the subsidy on the small tanks is around $10.

People using the large tanks of gas always pay market price.

The news today said that the government had not been paying the subsidy and the companies were going to stop providing the small tanks until the subsidy is paid.

I need to get my tank exchanged today or no more hot showers.

7 thoughts on “No Free Ride

  1. I had mixed feelings about this program. On the one hand, it distorts the market, and discourages conservation. If we paid market price for propane for example, putting in a solar water heater may make sense. However, I got my lesson in poverty an practicality a few years ago in a very poor part of rural Azuero. People there still used firewood for cooking, and didn’t even have the money for a $13 gas cooktop, let alone tank purchase. The gas subsidy is aimed at helping the people switch from wood to gas. Cooking with fire is heavily correlated with respiratory problems, especially among children.

  2. I agree Al. I would use the large tanks without the subsidy except the fool that built this house made it practically impossible. If the subsidiary were to disappear, I would move my water heater and stove top to all electric. However, gas is nice when the electricity goes out.

  3. In our off-grid remote area of Bocas del Toro, villagers cannot afford the actual tanks though they might be able to pay for refills if they had a tank. Young thieves steal tanks from more affluent neighbors (including other locals) and sell them to one of the little tiendas. Easy rum money! Those tiendas re-sell the tanks at a reduced price to locals. Everyone is happy except the original purchaser.

  4. New tanks were going for around $60 empty. I don’t know if that price is current. When we moved into this house we needed two small tanks and none were available. It took me a couple weeks to get both tanks.

    Also the tanks from Panagas and Tropigas are not compatible. Each require their own connector(regulator).

  5. TV news this morning interviewed the person in charge mentioning the government will pay up. Let’s see it it happens!

  6. I was downtown this afternoon. El Poderoso had Panagas (blue) empties for $45.99. I did not see any Tropigas.

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