The ERB announced yet another piecemeal reduction in the price of fuel yesterday. While this is welcome, we believe such piecemeal reductions are not enough.
As UPND we have always argued that it was wrong of the PF Government in the first place to remove fuel and mealie meal subsidies without any mitigation policies. This caused unnecessary hardship in our country.
We have always said that high fuel prices are driving up food and transport costs for Zambians across the country. They are further making it harder for local businesses to grow, flourish and create much-needed jobs.
It also raises the question of how we can hope to export Zambian crops and products across the region when the cost of transporting them is so high.
The reduction in fuel prices should not merely be for political expediency, but should be part of a well-coordinated and bigger plan to address the weaknesses in our economy.
A plan to manage the economy which will not only enable us to reduce fuel prices further but also to keep them down. After all it was only April this year when prices went up by 7% or more.
We are aware that the prices of crude oil on the international market have significantly been reduced by almost 35 percent. This means the fuel prices could have been lowered further so as to significantly bring the cost of living and doing business down.
The UPND stands on the platform of better management of the economy through reductions in fuel and food prices through better utilization of our natural resources.
If elected the UPND will take some short-term measures to reduce the cost of living, including lowering the price of fuel, but at the same time we will take action that will lead to bigger price reductions in the long-term and that will keep prices down.
We have always said investing in agriculture is the best way to bring down food prices, investing in education to equip our youths with the skills and training they need will help grow our economy, and creating a more business friendly environment will lead to accelerated economic growth and job creation.