Fuel price hike triggers anxiety

Fuel pump price

THE Private Sector Development Association chairperson Yusuf Dodia says that the increase in prices of fuel will have an all-round adverse effect on the economy.
Mr Dodia said in an interview yesterday that with further consultation, Zambia could have maintained the prices of fuel and stemmed the impact an increase has on citizens.

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On Thursday, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) announced the increase in fuel pump prices of petroleum products by seven percent for petrol, eight percent for diesel and nine percent for kerosene.  The wholesale price has been adjusted by 11 percent.
ERB board chairperson George Chabwera explained that the price increase has been triggered by the depreciation of the Kwacha
But Mr Dodia says the increase in the fuel prices will in turn trigger a rise in the cost of goods and services.
“Fuel increase has always been a problem in Zambia because it adds to the cost of doing business, cost of living and generally affects manufacturing and transportation of raw materials,” Mr Dodia said.
He noted that tourism, manufacturing and agriculture sectors are some of the industries that could be adversely affected by the adjustment in fuel prices.
Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) president Samuel Simutende said the increase in fuel prices is unfortunate.
He appealed to Government to find means of cushioning consumers from the impact of the fuel price increase.
Kitwe Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Raj Karamchand also contends that the fuel price hike will push the cost of living higher.
He also said that the increase will negatively impact on the industries, the cost of doing business and the price of commodities.
The ERB announced a 7.22 percent increment in the prices of petrol from K9.91 to K10.63 per litre, 8.75 percent increment in diesel from K9.20 to K10.01 while the kerosene price increased from K6.83 to K7.48, representing a 9.54 percentage increment.

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