Mwanakatwe ex­plains fuel hike

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By NA­TION REPORTER

GOV­ERN­MENT has de­cided to in­crease the price of fuel be­cause it needs more Kwacha to buy the United States dol­lar to im­port the com­mod­ity, Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Mar­garet Mwanakatwe has said. Ms Mwanakatwe said not all prod­ucts and ser­vices would be di­rectly im­pacted by change in fuel price hence their prices were ex­pected to re­main con­stant. Ms Mwanakatwe was speak­ing when she was chief guest at the Africa CEO Fo­rum in Lusaka yes­ter­day. She said the Kwacha had gen­er­ally per­formed well from Jan­uary un­til most re­cently when it suf­fered a set­back and lost ground against the U.S. dol­lar and other world cur­ren­cies. The price of fuel per bar­rel in re­cent years has been go­ing up and that Gov­ern­ment en­deav­oured to cush­ion the pub­lic against this im­pact but that it could no longer do so, she said. “We should al­ways bear in mind that we are buy­ing a com­mod­ity that is not Kwacha priced, it is priced at dol­lar so we al­ways have to find the Kwacha to buy the com­mod­ity, in buy­ing the com­mod­ity we should also bear in mind that per bar­rel price has been go­ing up “So here is a com­mod­ity which has been ris­ing in price and Gov­ern­ment has been cush­ion­ing the pub­lic at large with that in­crease but how much more can you cush­ion? It is dif­fi­cult. That is why we had to put the price up yes­ter­day (Tues­day) to make sure that we have the Kwacha to pay for fuel im­por­ta­tion,” she said. Ms Mwanakatwe said Gov­ern­ment and the Bank of Zam­bia were do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to cush­ion the Kwacha against the strength­en­ing of the dol­lar through the law of sup­ply and de­mand. She prod­ded the pri­vate sec­tor to pro­duce goods and ser­vices for ex­port to en­able Zam­bia earn for­eign ex­change. The event at­tracted sev­eral peo­ple from the busi­ness world.

We should al­ways bear in mind that we are buy­ing a com­mod­ity that is not Kwacha priced,” — Mar­garet Mwanakatwe.

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