Fuel prices hold steady

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Ticha­fara Bepe

THE price of fuel yes­ter­day re­mained unchanged at an av­er­age $1,34 for diesel and $1,38 for petrol de­spite the com­ing into ef­fect of in­creased excise duty on petroleum im­ports on De­cem­ber 1, 2018.

The Sun­day Mail has also es­tab­lished that Gov­ern­ment has re­duced the manda­tory blend­ing ra­tio of ethanol with un­leaded petrol from 20 per­cent to 15 per­cent.

There were fears of an im­me­di­ate hike in fuel prices yes­ter­day as the excise duty on diesel and petrol rose by seven and 6,7 per­cent re­spec­tively. Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube an­nounced the in­crease in the 2019 Na­tional Bud­get State­ment a fort­night ago.

A snap sur­vey by The Sun­day Mail in Harare yes­ter­day showed that fuel sta­tions that were dis­pens­ing petroleum prod­ucts had not in­creased prices.

The sup­ply sit­u­a­tion, how­ever, re­mained con­strained and lengthy queues char­ac­terised fuel sta­tions.

And in a Gov­ern­ment Gazette pub­lished last Fri­day, En­ergy and Power Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr Jo­rum Gumbo said the ethanol blend­ing level was be­ing re­duced with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

“It is hereby no­ti­fied, in terms of sec­tion 4(1) of the Petroleum (Manda­tory Blend­ing of An­hy­drous Ethanol with Un­leaded Petrol) Reg­u­la­tions, 2013, pub­lished in Statutory In­stru­ment 17 of 2013, that the Min­is­ter of En­ergy and Power Devel­op­ment ap­proves the cur­rent level of manda­tory blend­ing to 15 per cen­tum.

“The con­se­quence of this ap­proval is that all li­censed operators shall from the date of pub­li­ca­tion of the gen­eral no­tice be man­dated to sell un­leaded petrol blended at E15,” reads part of the no­tice.

Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced manda­tory blend­ing of un­leaded petrol with ethanol in 2013, and this has seen the coun­try sav­ing around $64 mil­lion on fuel im­ports an­nu­ally.

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