By KETRA KALUNGA
GOVERNMENT’S initiative to cushion the possible increase in fuel prices is a demonstration that it listens to the cries of the people, an energy expert has said.
Johnstone Chikwanda said Government has shown leadership through mitigating the shortage of fuel and a possible increase in the price of the commodity.
Mr Chikwanda said in an interview that Government should be commended for ensuring that the fuel flow in the country was back to normal.
He said this followed a series of Government’s intervention including the removal of 25 per cent customs duty and 16 Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel imports.
“Information on the ground is that in a short space of time, the national fuel stock level has significantly improved and continues to increase thereby increasing the energy security in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the energy expert has urged the energy regulation board (ERB) to continue protecting the integrity of the supply chain and ensure that fuel is not smuggled out of the country.Mr Chikwanda said fuel in Zambia has become cheaper than in some neighboring countries with a combined removal of taxes of more than 41per cent in total.
He said such a scenario could lead to smuggling of fuel to other destinations by illegal dealers, who would want to cash in.
Mr. Chikwanda has commended the leading Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) for demonstrating industry statesmanship by ensuring that the fuel situation in the country is normalized.