Malawi braces for fuel prices hike-report

There is increasing uneasiness among Malawians as there are fears fuel prices is likely to go up, a mid-week business paper has reported.

The Business Times quoted finance minister Dr. Ken Lipenga as saying fuel prices adjustment is imminent as government would want to factor in the vehicle licence fee previously paid through the Road Traffic Directorate (RTD).

However, Lipenga assured anxious Malawians that nothing has changed as government has just transferred the fee paying system from RTD department to the pump.

To pay more for fuel: Prices likely to go up

“The licence fee wasn’t very large and was paid annually,” observed the Minister, adding, “Malawians need to understand that this move is aimed at improving efficiency. Previously, we were losing out as many motorists were not complying with this measure.”

Meanwhile, in a rare show of solidarity, the controversial Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (Moam) has hailed government for taking RTD out of the equation saying operators used to spend hours queuing for licences at the traffic offices.

On his part, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) Executive Director John Kapito said while the changes were inevitable, there would be challenges stemming from the fact that not all fuel bought is used on motor vehicles.

“What about those who use the fuel for generators, maize mills and boats. Won’t they be forced to pay for things they are not concerned about,” Kapito told the paper.

It is exactly one month since President Mrs. Joyce Banda’s government adjusted fuel prices which went up by an average of 30 percent due to the devaluation factor.

 

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