Sata explains fuel subsidy removal

PRESIDENT Sata has explained that Government scrapped subsidies on petroleum products because they were a burden on state coffers for a long time and were not really reaching the poor they were meant for.

Mr Sata has revealed that in 2012 alone, the treasury redirected resources amounting to KR754 million (K754 billion) from the implementation of other government programmes and activities in the national budget to finance the fuel subsidy.

And in the 2013 budget, the Government has already paid KR571.5 million (K571.4 billion) in fuel subsidies as of January 18, 2013, money that could otherwise be directed towards poverty reduction and job creation programmes.

The scrapping of subsidies resulted in an automatic unavoidable hike in fuel prices effective midnight on Tuesday.

“I believe that the overall short and long term benefits of the removal of subsidies, outweigh by far any perceived negative consequences,” President Sata said.