Rwanda: Fuel Prices Fall
The New Times (Kigali)
4 October 2008
Posted to the web 4 October 2008
The Government has announced that it has reduced petrol and gas oil prices by 4.761 percent effective Monday, October 6. This was disclosed by State Minister for Industry and Investment Promotion, Vincent Karega during a press briefing. He said that this was driven by steadily decreasing fuel prices on the international markets.
Accordingly, pump prices for petrol and diesel this week will reduce from Frw924 to Frw880 for petrol and Frw870 for diesel. Three year ago, the price of petrol was Frw607 per litre while diesel stood at Frw 595.
Karega said that a consensus has been reached between local fuel dealers to effect the decision without compromising their business.
"Fuel dealers had some concern on their new stock which was bought at higher prices, but they have compensation on the recent fuel price hikes that impacted old stocks," Karega said.
He said that if the market response is effective, a positive impact will be registered in reducing transport fares, food prices, and inflation and improve trade in general which was attributed to cost of fuel.
The minister called upon responsible institutions like Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA) to intervene and regulate transport costs, and sensitise citizens to know their rights.
"We cannot predict whether prices will continue to decrease or increase, but we had maintained our prices for three months to monitor its stability," said Karega.
He added that if not highly subsidized, diesel pump prices could shoot higher, to about Frw1223 on petrol and 1204 on diesel, thereby forcing prices of essential commodities to go high and thus affecting the entire economy.
Subsidies on petrol since April to August this month have been 100 percent on diesel and 77 percent on petrol, while kerosene has no subsidies as its taxes are already low (5 percent).
But the Government is proposing to subsidize kerosene since it's largely used by Rwandans for lighting and cooking since charcoal and cooking gas are expensive.
Meanwhile, Karega said that already three companies from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have shown interest in investing in fuel, pledging to construct reservoirs in partnership with local investors.
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