Fuel prices still high: CZI

HARARE - The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says the country’s fuel and electricity prices are still high despite the recent government intervention to reduce taxes on the energy sector.

“The CZI Energy and Environment committee is of the view that the prices are still too high and not in line with the move to reduce the cost and ease of doing business, especially when benchmarked against the region,” the industry mother body said.

In January, government ordered players in the petroleum industry to reduce fuel prices to $1,35 per litre for petrol, $1,23 per litre for diesel and $1,17 for paraffin following a reduction in excise duty.

Petrol prices in Zimbabwe have ranged between $1,40 and $1,56 per litre, while diesel ranged between $1,30 and $1,33 per litre.

However, the new prices are still high compared to regional averages of $1,02 per litre petrol and $0,80 per litre diesel.

The CZI committee also raised concern that a number of fuel service stations are rejecting certain forms of payments preferring cash and credit cards.

“They consistently claim that their mobile transaction platforms are out of order,” the committee said.

In its weekly deliberations, the committee also indicated that one of the reasons why ethanol blending was introduced was to reduce the of cost fuel, but there are questions whether blending is making any real difference and “the committee will be looking into this issue for the benefit of members”.

The industry mother body commended national power utility, Zesa Holdings, for improved services since there is hardly any load shedding in industrial areas except a few in cases of faults or vandalism.

However, CZI said it remains alert and is concerned about calls from some quarters for an upward review of the power tariffs.

“CZI is strongly opposed to a power tariff increase until the power tariff structure as well as the results of the study that was done looking at various aspects of the utility has been revealed and issues raised addressed.

“The committee also noted the recent wage increase demands by the power utility workers which would have an impact on tariff if implemented,” the group said.

The Sifelani Jabangwe-led organisation further highlighted that one area that may reduce pressure for tariff increase is the reduction or suspension of the various taxes on fuel specifically meant for electricity generation at the country’s thermal power stations.

“If the authorities could waive certain taxes for a private company for a diesel-powered generation at Dema, they should be able to do the same for the main power utility,” CZI added. — The Financial Gazette

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.