Plot to cushion economy from on high fuel costs



MASERU – The government will have to come up with some kind of policy in order to protect petroleum products’ consumers and ensure businesses do not have to face yet another crunch that could threaten their survival.

This was the response of the Chief Executive of Petroleum Fund, Thato Mohasoa, following the announcement of new petroleum prices yesterday, which will see the pump prices go above M20.00 a litre for the very first time in the history of Lesotho.

Mohasoa said even though Lesotho’s downstream economy has no control on prices “we cannot just fold our arms and be what may. We have statutory mandate to protect consumers and business”, he said. He said the Petroleum Fund will be proposing a number of ideas that can be implemented in Lesotho reduce the impact of soaring prices, but could not as yet reveal what that these would entail.

He, however, confirmed that the Fund is expected to meet with the government as early as Monday next week to discuss the number of suggestions that can be employed in public policy in order the lessen the burden of high prices on the citizens. Lesotho being a net importer of fuel and many other goods could in the long term see much higher prices on its consumable shelves because of high transportation and production costs as a result of rocketing fuel prices.

The Petroleum Fund yesterday announced new fuel pump prices with petrol 93 and 95 registering a record high M2.10 and M2.25 respectively bring the new price to M20.50/93 and M20.80/95 per litre. The price of diesel, on the other hand, has gone up by M4.10 pushing it to M22.50 per litre while paraffin users have also been dealt a huge blow with a M3.00 increase that will now make a litre at M16.90, the highest-ever for the country.

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