CSPR urges govt to intervene in fuel price hikes

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Fuel pump price

The Civil Society for Poverty reduction (CSPR) in Eastern Province has appealed to government to intervene in the recently increased fuel pump prices.
CSPR Provincial Coordinator, Maxson Nkhoma, stated that the decision to increase the pump prices will impact negatively on the ordinary Zambians who are already living under the poverty datum line of one Dollar per day.
Mr Nkhoma said this in a press statement released to ZANIS in Chipata today.
He stated that government, through the Ministry of Finance, should work on strengthening the depreciation of the Kwacha to regain its strength against other currencies while the Ministry of Energy and its subsidiary entities like Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) find other practical measures to subside the fuel.
“As CSPR we feel and know that government should have found other practical ways of ensuring that monies saved from subsidies could have been channelled to benefit the many citizens than increasing the fuel pump price,” he said.
Mr Nkhoma noted that the timing of fuel hikes is bad as the country is threatened by hunger because of poor rainfall pattern experienced during 2013/14 farming season.
He further complained that prices of essential commodities are already high, adding that the recent hike of fuel prices will worsen the situation hence the need for government to intervene.
He has also urged the Consumer Protection Commission to also monitor the situation on the market to ensure that ordinary Zambians are protected from exploitation.
“CSPR is also aware that government has given out 17 oil exploration licenses to 12 companies who are currently carrying out exploration of oil in seven out of ten provinces, Eastern inclusive, although not much has been achieved but would be good to scale up the exploration activities on oil as Zambia may stand to benefit if the commodity is found,” he stressed.
Mr Nkhoma also said it is sad that transporters and other traders take advantage of fuel increments to charge unrealistic fares to members of the general public thereby exploiting citizens and also cause artificial prices on goods and services.
Recently, the ERB increased the fuel pump prices by eight per cent.

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