Fuel prices fix come into force

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The government’s intervention of setting price floors on petroleum products to offset motorists from high prices is coming to effect tomorrow.

This fuel subsidy is set to last until December 2022.

This is per the statement issued by the Petroleum Fund on Wednesday.

“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 subsidize 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 in pertinent part.

For this subsidy, the government has, through the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology set aside to the tune of M30 million.

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

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine fight has triggered the regular global oil prices, forcing petroleum prices to soar at alarming rates. Russia is said to be one of the biggest exporters of oil in the world.

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

The government had also decreased the fuel prices by M1.50 for both petrol grades of 93 and 95 as well as diesel while paraffin will see the decrease of M1.10.

For the adjusted fuel prices, motorists and petroleum products consumers will now pay M22.20 for petrol 93, M22.65 for petrol 95, M23.05 for diesel and M17.80 for illuminating paraffin.  

Meanwhile, the Fund has appealed to the retailers to charge the stipulated prices, saying it is illegal to charge prices that are different from the gazetted. It has further noted that those who will be charging different prices will have legal action taken against them.

The Fund further says: “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.