PF fears effects of fuel price hike

By Staff Reporter

Patriotic Front (PF) media director Sunday Chanda has expressed fear on the effects of the recently announced fuel price increments.

Chanda said the hike was a bitter pill to swallow given the ripple effect it was bound to have on the prices of goods and services.

He empathised with commuters and small and medium entrepreneurs,, the manufacturing industry and ordinary Zambians.

“The unavoidable external factors which absolutely nobody in our nation has control of includes the increase in crude oil prices on the global market. What makes the price increase even more painful is that it has to a large extent been caused by the depreciation of our Kwacha which has been the casualty of locally generated negative reports and fake news about the economic stability of our country,” he claimed.

“Of course international factors behind the increase include the fact that Zambia imports both crude oil and finished products at a price set at the international level, including importation costs, eg shipping costs. Further, international media reports further contributing was the increase in the price of crude oil which went up from 74.25 USD to 78.25 USD per barrel,”

He further claimed that the main contributing factors were the unwillingness by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase their production outputs and negative impact of the hurricanes on petroleum infrastructure in the USA during the period under review.

The Energy Regulation Board has claimed that the Saudi Arabia deal was a drop in the ocean and had minimal impact on the general supply patterns and prices of petroleum products in the country.

“The K20 million Saudi consignments only lasted for 13 days Petrol and 6 days for Diesel on the market, much less than the consumption of K1 billion needed for the country per month,’ stated Mpundu. “Fuel prices had remained unchanged in July 2018 despite receiving the cheaper stocks from Saudi, contrary to assertion by Minister of Information Dora Siliya that the deal would help reduce fuel prices.”