THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has increased the price of petrol from K21.96 to 26.50 per litre, while the price of diesel has gone up by K4.68, to K26.22 from 21.54.
But Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Bwalya says President Hakainde Hichilema is urging citizens and industry players to be extra resilient as government continues to aggressively work towards stabilizing and ultimately lowering the fuel pump price.
Announcing the increment, Thursday, ERB board chairman Reynolds Bowa said it was necessitated by the continued strain in the global oil supply, mainly due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“The Energy Regulation Board has adjusted upwards the pump prices of petroleum products by K4.54/litre for Petrol,K468/litre for diesel and K3.93/litre. The increase in pump prices is due to the continued strain in global oil supply mainly due to the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine that has exerted additional pressure to the already escalating oil prices on the international market. These developments have heightened the demand for petroleum products and have increased the cost of importation. Notably, prices of finished products on the international markets have gone up steeply and continue to trade above US$ 130/ barrel,” stated Bowa.
“On the domestic market, the impact would have been more adverse had it not been for the resilience and marginal appreciation of the Kwacha against the United States Dollar, during the review period. Arising from the movement, mainly in the international prices, the April 2022 pump prices have been adjusted as follows; Petrol: current 21.96, new 26.50, absolute variance 4.54. Low Sulphur: current 21.54, new 26.22, absolute variance 4.68 and Kerosene: current 15.39, new 19.3, absolute variance 3.93.”
And in a statement, Thursday, Bwalya said there were still very strong signs of positive economic resilience within the local economy.
“As global oil price conditions continue to tighten under the weight of the ongoing uncertainty around the Ukraine – Russia conflict, the President is urging both citizens and industry players to be extra resilient as government continues to aggressively work towards stabilizing and ultimately lowering the price of fuel, and improve the general economic welfare of the Zambian people,” Bwalya said.
“It is important to note, that in the midst of the potential for economic disruption being caused by fuel pricing disturbances on the global market, there are still very strong signs of positive economic resilience within the local economy as can be seen through government’s ability to follow through on key commitments such as the delivery of Constituency Development Fund, which has so far seen all constituencies receive at least K6m of their CDF allocation, the successful rollout of a much improved social cash transfer program with more than 1 million vulnerable citizens being supported, as well as the implementation of the free education program for children up to grade 12.”
He said the recruitment of health and education workers would go a long way towards mitigating household poverty and economic hopelessness among citizens.
“It must also be noted, that as part of increasing economic resilience among the most vulnerable, government has undertaken the payment of salary arrears for local government employees through the discharge of all local government equalization fund arrears, as well as paying all FRA arrears to farmers. It must further be noted, that these measures, coupled by the ongoing mass recruitment of health workers, with the recruitment of education workers soon to be unveiled, will go a long way towards mitigating household poverty and economic hopelessness among citizens,” stated Bwalya.
“We are also urging the industry and industry leaders, particularly across the transport and manufacturing sectors, to actively continue working and collaborating with government in ensuring that we keep logistical and production disruptions to an absolute minimum as both sectors play a crucial role in keeping the wheels of the economy turning.”