Address Fuel Hurdles, State Urged

THE Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) has urged Government to work towards resolving inefficiencies in the fuel procurement system.

EAZ president Isaac Ngoma said in Lusaka yesterday that Government should look at other alternative fuel sources, while dealing with other challenges.

Mr Ngoma said it was important that the country becomes more focused on a long term focused basis in instituting some risk mitigation measures to cushion the country against such economic shocks.

“Government should look at other alternative sources and must work hard to resolve inefficiencies in the fuel procurement system,” he said.

Mr Ngoma said the fuel pump price increase was inevitable going by the adjustments in oil prices on the international market coupled with external factors such as, the crisis in Russia and Ukraine.

On the domestic front, the Kwacha has also depreciated significantly against the United States (US) dollar.

Mr Ngoma said such a situation was not conducive for the economy, especially in the wake of rising inflation.

“Pump price increases will have far reaching effects since fuel is a major factor in production and distribution of goods and provision of services,” he said.

Mr Ngoma said the situation was unfortunate as the compound effect would be a general rise in the prices of goods and services including inflation.

“Ultimately, we shall expect a rise in inflation which may make it difficult for Government to contain as it strives to meet the set year-end inflation target.

“Ordinary people will definitely feel the pinch as goods and services will become costly which may undermine poverty reduction efforts,” Mr Ngoma added.

Recently, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) increased pump prices for fuel by 7.22 per cent for petrol and 8.75 per cent for diesel. The new uniform pump price per litre is K10.63 from K9.91 for petrol, diesel has gone up from K9.20 to K10.01, while Kerosene increased from K6.83 to K7.48.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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