By NATION REPORTER
THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) should reduce pump prices to help cushion the social effects of COVID-19, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said.
However, the Energy Regulations Board, ERB, recently explained that fuel price reductions were not feasible because of the unstable exchange rate which has led to a sharp depreciation of the Kwacha.
NDC president Chishimba Kambwili said fuel pump price reduction and crude oil world over had become a trending phenomenal which should also benefit Zambians.
“We also recall vividly that President Edgar Lungu, in December, ordered a 20%, 15%, 10% salary cut from his salary, ministers and high earners in the civil service, respectively, and to channel funds towards reduction of local fuel pump prices in order to cushion harsh economic impact that citizens were experiencing. We hope the directive was not mere rhetoric,” Mr Kambwili said.
Mr Kambwili explained that NDC believed that those initiatives would help trigger social benefits to the Zambian people.
“We strongly believe that the nation should have taken advantage of this fall in international crude oil to negotiate for a sustainable contract, as this may safeguard security of supply in the medium term to avoid further economic shocks,’ he said
This week’s global oil market prices have reduced following the COVID-19 pandemic encircling economic lockdowns in many countries, coupled with uncertainties within the OPEC agreement.
Cuban Crude oil prices had reduced by 69% from US$69.58 – $21.57 per barrel and the Zambian Kwacha had only depreciated by 30% since December, when the last increment was effected.
Some African countries such as Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, among many others in the southern African region have reduced their fuel pump prices ranging from 5% to 15% reduction.
By NATION REPORTER