Fuel up again in Malawi as government tries to hinder opponents
By Amalawi - Tue Mar 12, 11:18 am
Fuel prices have gone up yet again in Malawi. One litre of petrol is now selling at K714.90 up from K704.30, diesel K693.80 up from K683.60. The increase is likely to have reciprocal effects in all areas of the poor and stagnant economy.
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) announced the changes today the 12 March 2013. The increase, effective from today Tuesday March 12, has been attributed to Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) which the current government of Joyce Banda adopted. DPP’s government of Bingu wa Muntharika was against automatic pricing
Paraffin, a commodity mostly used by the impoverished people from the rural areas remains at K171 per litre. The government has forced MERA to restrict the increase in paraffin as it is mostly used by the majority of Malawians living the rural areas.
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) urged all filling stations “ to display pump prices being charged on clearly visible signage within their premises.”MERA the fuel regulator said that it had considered recent trends in the world petroleum products prices and other macroeconomic fundamentals to raise the prices
In just eight months the current government of Joyce Banda has increased fuel four times, this has affected poor Malawians who are now buying a bag of 50 KG maize at MK10,000
Economic experts have said the fuel price increase would affect the transport sector as it will see increase in the cost of transporting people, retail goods and manufacture of products.
The economists have since warned that the increase of fuel prices will “attract an increase in inflation” and that it would affect all sectors of the economy.
Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) boss John Kapito has said consumers should brace themselves for a chain of price increases.
“The trend of rising fuel prices is most likely to have a ripple effect on the local economy as prices of other commodities have a tendency to follow suit,” he said.
Poor Malawians are suffering and they are likely to suffer for years to come, analysists are urging the government to rethink its policies on fuel pricing and not simply follow what the donors are demanding. Donors demanded and automatic fuel pricing a move which ensures that they get more for their money.