Gov’t announces another fuel subsidy

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – During its sitting on Tuesday, the Cabinet of Ministers has resolved to introduce a subsidy of M1.60 across the board on all petroleum products.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology who doubles as the government’s Spokesperson, Hon. Tsoinyane Rapapa at a press conference today.

The government, he said through this move, will forfeit to the tune of M180 million of petroleum products revenue.

This move will see the fuel prices; petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin revised downwards.

The government had earlier set price floors on petroleum products to offset motorists from high prices.

“The Petroleum Fund Secretariat wishes to inform the public that the Government of Lesotho has taken a decision to fix the prices of the three controlled petroleum products prices for a period of six months starting in July 2022 to December 2022 as an effort to subsidise consumers of these products and to avert economic meltdown as a result of the increase of the petroleum products following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia,” reads the Petroleum Fund statement issued in June.

Earlier in June, the government had, through the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology, announced the subsidy of fuel products earmarking M30 million for this intervention.

The ever soaring energy prices have had impact on many other sectors, as a result, this leads to increasing inflation on food, transport and other commodities and services.

They are mostly exacerbated by the ravaging Russia-Ukraine war that has triggered the global oil prices, forcing petroleum prices to soar at alarming rates. Russia is said to be one of the biggest exporter of oil in the world.

The world has been battling with fuel prices from early this year from when Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Petroleum Fund had previously said: “In an effort to monitor the developments and disbursement of the funds allocated for the purpose, a Task Team comprising of officials from the Petroleum Fund, the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology, the Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant General and Office of Auditor General has been set-up.

“This Task Team will also monitor the markets performance and will meet on a monthly basis or when necessary, to advise the Government on the necessary changes and/or actions to be taken.

This fuel subsidy is set to last until December 2022.