Stakeholders want more fuel price cut

VARIOUS stakeholders say the further reduction of the fuel pump price by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) is a step in the right direction.
The stakeholder, however, called for further reduction in the price of the commodity in order to reduce the cost of doing business.
ERB on Sunday announced a reduction in the price of fuel, with petrol now selling at K9.89 from K10.38 while diesel is now pegged at K9.19 from K9.73 representing 4.72 and 5.55 percent, respectively.
The reduction, which came into effect at midnight yesterday, follows another minimal reduction about a week ago.
Zambia Consumer Association executive secretary Samuel Simutunda said ERB should have considered reducing the price of fuel by K2 to reduce the cost of production and, thereby reduce the cost of living.
“Inflation has been going up mainly due to the cost of fuel, but a further reduction will bring the cost of transportation down,” he said.
And Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) chairman Yusuf Dodia said ERB should consider a further reduction of fuel in line with the international trends.
“The reduction should be in comparison with the prices on the international market and what is prevailing in the region. Prices on the international market have fallen by about 30 percent, yet the reduction in Zambia is less than 10 percent,” he said.
Mr Dodia said the country should benefit from the reduction of fuel on the international market.
He said the cost of production in Zambia has remained high and uncompetitive due to the high cost of fuel.
Mr Dodia also said the high cost of fuel has resulted in the country having a high number of retail outlets compared to manufacturing industries.
“We are becoming a trading nation as seen by the number of shopping malls but we need more industries in the country,” he said.

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