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‘Upward monthly fuel price review would wreck manufacturing sector’

By KETRA KALUNGA

THE monthly fuel price review if adjusted upwards would kill the manufacturing sector and bring the country’s economy to a halt, ZuyZed Zambia has warned.

An energy expert, Johnstone Chikwanda has however welcomed the move, explaining that the monthly fuel price review was commendable and close to reality because it will serve the interests of all stakeholders in the energy sector.

But ZuyZed Zambia founder, Evans Ngoma said upwards adjustment of fuel price on a monthly basis would reduce production because locally produced goods would fail to compete favourably with imported goods on the market.

Mr. Ngoma said uncertainty would rock the local manufacturing sector and force them to reduce production because of not knowing whether the fuel price for the next month would be adjusted upwards or downwards.

He said in an interview that this would then lead to reduced revenue collection on the part of Government because companies would cut down on producing products to deliver to people countrywide due to uncertainty on transport costs.

“We oppose the review of fuel prices on monthly basis because uncertainties will rock the local companies,” he said.

And Mr Chikwanda, commenting on the ERB announcement said in an interview that a monthly price review cycle is welcome because it was in line with best practices in the SADC region obtaining on the ground.

He said the previous two months’ fuel price review was too long given the sensitive fundamental factors which dictate the pump prices which are the exchange rate and crude oil price on the international market.

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