Imakando says fuel hike will put pressure on economy

The Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) says the 15 percent fuel increment will put pressure on the country’s economy.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today, Association President Mwilola Imakando said the increment will affect the cost of transportation of goods and services in the country.

He said the increase in fuel pump price will also have an effect on the costs of producing goods and services.

Dr. Imakando said it’s this increase in transport and production costs that might result in the increase in price of consumer products.

He however noted that Zambia as an importing country has little control on the price of the commodity.
Dr. Imakando further emphasized the need for the country to diversify the economy and avoid shake ups due to external forces like the increase in fuel prices.

He said the increments shows how the Zambian economy is vulnerable to external pressures hence the need to diversify the economy.

He said Zambia should look at ways of reducing its dependence on mining by investing in alternative sources like hydro power and others to stabilize the country’s economy when there is change on the international market.

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) yesterday announced a 15 percent fuel increment with effect from mid- night yesterday.

And he Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has called on government to cushion consumers from the increase in the price of fuel pump price by reducing import duty on the commodity.

ZACA Executive Director Muyunda Ililonga says consumers will be badly affected by the increase in fuel pump prices as was announced by government yesterday and that the only way government could protect consumers from the effects of the hike is by reducing tax from the current 20 percent to 10 percent.

Mr Ililonga said fuel has a spiral effect on other products and therefore the increase in fuel pump price will lead to increases in the price of other goods and services.

He told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that government should live up to its obligation of ensuring that consumers are spared the negative effects of the new development.

The ZACA Executive Director explained that people are likely to go through a lot of hardships as a result of the hike hence the need for government to come up with mechanisms to cushion consumers.

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) yesterday announced an increase in fuel pump prices by 15 percent, following the board’s decision to increase prices of diesel, petrol and kerosene by 15 percent across the board.

The increase is with effect from midnight yesterday.

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