Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has revised downwards pump prices of fuel with immediate effect a month after State Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM interim leader, asked the Democratic Progress Party (DPP) administration to either reduce prices of fuel or face unspecified action.
According to the revised price structure, diesel will now be selling at K949.60 from K990.40 per litre, petrol is now at K923.50 from K990.30, while paraffin is pegged at K781.80 fromK785.00 per litre.
A statement seen by Nyasa Times signed by Mera board chairperson Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe and its chief executive officer Collins Magalasi said the regulator has considered recent trends in the world petroleum products prices and changes in other macroeconomic fundamentals on the local market and their impact on energy prices.
Mera said the average free on board (FoB) prices of petrol, diesel and paraffin dropped significantly in November when compared to ruling average FoB prices obtained in October on which thehiked fuel pump prices were based.
Said the statement: “ In November 2018, the average FoB prices of petrol, diesel and paraffin decreaed by 19.60 percent, 16.09 percent and 13.63 percent respectively when compared to the average obtained in the month of October, 2018 used in determining the ruling pump prices.”
Mera said the combined effect of the movement of the FoB prices and exchange rate of the kwacha to the dollar as well as changes in the local factors that determine the maximum pump prices.
Speaking at a public rally in Karonga, a fortnight ago, Chilima said the country has no grounds for hiking fuel prices when the rest of the world has been reducing the same.
I promised that I will only be saying the truth. There is no way fuel prices can go up while the prices are being reduced globally. This could mean the exchange rate in our country does not reflect the truth. They want us to compensate them through fuel prices.
“This is your [the government’s] problem not ours. Fuel prices should be reduced. This is not politics. We do not want to hear about the hikes of prices of goods, transport fares and other services and products because you are failing to work on the economy. If you fail to reduce the price of fuel, we will agree on what to do [with you],” Chilima said.
The drop will be good news as it will relieve pressure on consumers who are feeling the pinch of high cost of living due to poor economic performance.