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Fuel subsidies scrapped off

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
THE decision to stop subsidising fuel prices has finally been made by Government because it cannot continue spending US$67 million in a single month. Coupled with this colossal expenditure is the US$480 million debt to suppliers of petroleum products the previous government postponed to settle because it allegedly wanted to remain popular among voters. The scrapping of subsidies entails the inevitable rise in fuel pump prices, whose details will be availed by the Energy Regulation Board in a comprehensive statement in due course. Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane announced the decision to remove subsidies, including those on electricity tariffs, during a joint media briefing with International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief of mission to Zambia Allison Holland yesterday. Dr Musokotwane assured that the IMF programme and other economic reforms Government is undertaking will not be too harsh and make life difficult for ordinary people. This is because Government has made a conscious decision to remove subsidies on fuel and electricity and the money saved will be channelled to bursaries, re-introduction of meal allowances for students and Constituency Development Fund. Dr Musokotwane said the Patriotic Front government postponed the problem of clearing the US$480 million debt to fuel suppliers fearing that it would be CLICK TO READ MORE



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