Subsidise fuel again, Govt told

 Subsidise fuel again, Govt told

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Some residents of Chingola have called on Government to start importing fuel from countries nearby, to avoid direct impact once the oil market is unstable.

Speaking in an interview, Chingola based business owner Arthur Mukonda says Government should invest in the rail line to Angola where prices can easily be negotiated.

“This will drastically reduce the transportation cost. The rail project to Angola stalled after the death of President Mwanawasa and we have not seen any practical will from any Government since then,” he said.

And Michael Mulimba, a Local Entrepreneur said that Indeni oil refinery cannot fail to process crude oil from nearby countries.

Mr Mulimba said the country is only interested in importing from Europe instead of African countries.

“The solution is that we can upgrade Indeni to start refining Crude Oil not importing already finished products, and secondly Government needs to reconsider subsidizing fuel to avoid suffocating citizens,” he said.

Another resident Patrick Chileshe said Government should reconsider bringing back the fuel subsidies that was removed.

Mr Chileshe said increasing fuel prices monthly will affect the already devastated economy negatively.

Yesterday, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) increased the prices of fuel by an average of K4.54/liter for petrol and K4.68/liter effective midnight.

ERB Board Chairperson Reynolds Bowa attributed the increase in pump prices to the continued strain in global oil supply mainly due to the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Mr Bowa said the developments have heightened the demand for petroleum products and have increased the cost of importation.

The new petrol prices are now K26.50-ngwee per liter from K21.96-ngwee while low sulphur diesel prices will now be K26.22-ngwee from K21.54.

Kerosene price has also been increased by K3.93, from K15 .39 per liter to K19.32.