Diesel, petrol prices up

Diesel, petrol prices up

MASERU – THE prices of petroleum products have gone up, with both grades of petrol shooting by 50 cents per litre, according to the Petroleum Fund Secretariat.
The new prices were announced last Thursday and have been in effect since Friday.
Prices for both grades of diesel and illuminating paraffin have shot up by 15 cents per litre, the secretariat said.

Petroleum Fund Executive Secretary Thato Mohasoa said people will now have to fork out M13.45 per litre for petrol 93 and M13.85 per litre for diesel 500.
Mohasoa said diesel 50 now costs M14.15 per litre while the price of domestic paraffin has increased to M9.50 per litre.
The main reason for the price increases, Mohasoa said, has been the rise in free-on-board prices for these products.

According to the website, BusinessTech, the hike in fuel prices was driven by global market prices where the average Brent crude oil price increased from $64.04 to $66.01 per barrel (from about M896.56 to M924.14).
The website also says the depreciation of the South African rand against the United States dollar from R13.80 to R14.36 on average during the period under review impacted on fuel prices.
The price increases are likely to have a spiral effect on the entire economy.
Nkareng Letsie of the Consumer Protection Association (CPA) described the fuel price increases as a serious challenge.

He told thepost that Basotho would have to learn to cope with the increasing prices of fuel.
Letsie advised those who use private transport to share with others to minimise on expenses.
He said since Lesotho’s economy depends more on transport to deliver products, prices end up increasing due to high transportation costs.

Chief Executive Officer of Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL), Thabo Qhesi, described the situation as “very terrible” since workers and consumers will be hardest hit.
“When the fuel price goes up the prices in the markets also go up,” he said.
He said when certain sectors feel the pressure of high competitiveness, they end up retrenching workers. Some businesses will resort to asking employees to work reduced hours, he said.

Qhesi said business had little room to manoeuvre because fuel prices are largely determined by movements in the global market, although Lesotho is “lucky” due to government subsidies on fuel.
“People who are going to feel the pinch are the consumers and workers, especially the elderly who survive on pensions which are small,” he said.
Maseru Region Transport Operators spokesman, Lebohang Moea, said the fuel price increases bodes badly for business.
“The transport fees are already lower than the expected fees,” he said.

Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Executive Secretary, Fako Hakane, said the price increases are “unfair” to consumers because the budget for this year already posed some challenges where tax on alcohol, cigarettes and other commodities, including fuel, were proposed to increase coupled with a zero percent salary increase for public servants.
This could affect the economic and political stability of the country, said Hakane.

Refiloe Mpobole


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