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Fuel Prices Go Up

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GOVERNMENT has announced an upward adjustment of petroleum products in the country effective midnight today, 30th April, 2013.

And government has removed fuel subsidies in the prices of petroleum products effective midnight today in order to meet the current costs of supplying and delivering the products.

Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Yamfya Mukanga told journalists at a media briefing in Lusaka today that the price of diesel has been adjusted upward with an increase of K1.63 per litre, petrol by K1.75 per litre while kerosene has been increased by KR1.68 per litre.

Mr. Mukanga said in order to reduce the percentage of increase in the price of fuel, government has decided to remove the five percent import duty that was chargeable on crude feedstock.

He said government has furthermore reduced the KR0.25 that was chargeable on petrol for the strategic reserves fund to KR0.15 on all fuel products.

Mr. Mukanga said in the short term, the price of diesel and kerosene will be equalised in order to prevent adulteration which has the potential to negatively affect the performance of motor vehicles engines.

He said the measure was aimed at countering the loss in government revenue.

Mr. Mukanga further stated that in future, taxes on fuel will be reflected in absolute and not in percentage terms as a way to mitigate increases in price of fuel.

He said this measure however requires change in the law and will therefore be considered at the next sitting of parliament.

Mr. Mukanga also disclosed that Cabinet has decided to make periodical fuel price reviews in line with economic fundamentals.

He said the adjustments will enable government to redirect resources to the creation of jobs and the reduction of poverty by financing infrastructure in the education and health sectors, road infrastructure and also financing increased recruitment of nurses, doctors and teachers.

He has since appealed to all fuel consumers and the general public to support the measures which are aimed at contributing to accelerated development in the country and improving people’s welfare.

And Mr. Mukanga said government has decided to remove fuel subsidies in the prices of petroleum products in the country effective midnight today, 30th April in order to meet the current costs of supplying and delivering the products.

He said government has so far spent about KR 1.2 million on fuel subsidies during the first and second quarters of this year.
Mr. Mukanga said in 2012, Government spent a total of KR 754 million on fuel subsidies which was equivalent to 70 per cent of the total health sector budget of non salary or 50 percent of the total educational sector budget of non salary programme expenditures.

He also stated that the depreciation in the exchange rate between the local currency, Kwacha, to major international currencies has had an adverse effect on domestic fuel prices.

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