Govt clears air on fuel prices

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fari­rai Machivenyika Se­nior Re­porter

GOV­ERN­MENT has not au­tho­rised ser­vice sta­tions to sell fuel in US dol­lars only, so deal­ers should con­sider all cur­ren­cies in the bas­ket, in­clud­ing the bond note which is pegged at 1:1 with the USD, the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion, Pub­lic­ity and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices has said.

The min­istry said this on its Twit­ter han­dle yesterday, adding that all cur­ren­cies in the multi-cur­rency bas­ket, in­clud­ing bond notes, re­main le­gal ten­der for fuel trans­ac­tions.

“There is no Gov­ern­ment policy al­low­ing all petrol sta­tions to sell fuel in US dol­lars only,” said the min­istry. “Cabi­net has not ap­proved such an ar­range­ment.

“All cur­ren­cies in the bas­ket, in­clud­ing bond note which is pegged at 1:1 with the USD, are an ac­cept­able form of ten­der. There is no dis­cre­tion to ex­clude other cur­ren­cies in the bas­ket.

“Fuel sta­tions are ad­vised to limit the num­ber of cars on the fore­court at any one time so as to avoid a dis­as­ter in case of a fire.”

The min­istry said there was no room to stop cus­tomers from trans­act­ing in any cur­rency in the multi-cur­rency bas­ket.

The state­ment by the min­istry put paid to some mes­sages, es­pe­cially on so­cial me­dia plat­forms, that some fuel out­lets had been al­lowed to trade in US dol­lars.

The min­istry said Gov­ern­ment had not come up with any mea­sures to ra­tion fuel pur­chases, but noted that op­er­a­tors had pro­posed the idea to en­sure eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion of the com­mod­ity.

“Gov­ern­ment does not have a fuel ra­tioning sys­tem. How­ever, fuel re­tail­ers have sug­gested lim­it­ing the amount one per­son can buy in order not to run out after only serv­ing a few cus­tomers,” said the min­istry.

“This is the re­tail­ers’ ef­forts to be fair and to en­sure eq­ui­table ac­cess to the com­mod­ity.”

In an in­ter­view, Sec­re­tary for In­for­ma­tion, Publicty and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Mr Nick Mang­wana urged the pub­lic to re­port op­er­a­tors de­mand­ing US dol­lars only to reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties.

“Peo­ple should re­port such prac­tices to the Zim­babwe En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity,” Mr Mang­wana said.

The state­ment by the min­istry fol­lows an an­nounce­ment by Zera that prices of petrol and diesel had slightly gone down.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, the price of diesel that was pre­vi­ously $1,34 per litre, but is now at $1,25, while petrol which was $1,38 now costs $1,32 per litre.

Zera said the prices which were im­ple­mented re­cently were in line with Statu­tory In­stru­ments 20 and 100 en­acted in 2015.

Zera no­ti­fied mem­bers of the pub­lic that uel sta­tions were at lib­erty to sell the com­mod­ity at lower prices “de­pend­ing on their trad­ing ad­van­tages.”

The en­ergy reg­u­la­tor added that the free on board (FOB) price for diesel was pegged at 0,5434c per litre, while petrol was at 0,4726c.

“Please note that these fig­ures take into ac­count the re­vised ex­cise duty and rep­re­sent max­i­mum FOB and pump prices for the dif­fer­ent fu­els,” said Zera.

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