By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) have cautioned Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and retailers of petroleum products against hoarding of petroleum products.
The two institutions have also cautioned against showing undue preference to, or discriminating against any particular person or persons with regard to the provision of petroleum products or services.
ERB manager Namukolo Kasumpa and CCPC public relations officer Reinford Mutabi said such practices are in breach of Licence Conditions as spelt out in the Licence to Retail Petroleum Products as provided in the Energy Regulation Act No. 12 of 2019.
They said such actions amount to unfair trading practices and constitute a violation of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010.
Speaking in a combined statement, Ms Kasumpa said the breaches may attract penalties, suspension and/or revocation of operating licenses as they are all punishable by law.
“The ERB and CCPC had observed that there was an inclination by some retailers of petroleum products to hoard fuel particularly when prices were adjusted upwards. Therefore, industry players have been warned that the two agencies would remain vigilant to protect consumers against such practices,” part of the statement read.
Mr Mutabi said the ERB also reiterated that pricing of fuel is now being undertaken on a monthly basis in order to be responsive to movements in the key factors that affect fuel prices.
“The monthly pricing reviews, introduced by the ERB, are in line with government policy aimed at attaining cost reflective pricing for petroleum products that ensures full cost recovery for the sustainable supply of fuel in the country,” he said..
They have since urged consumers to report any retailers of petroleum products suspected to be hoarding petroleum products.