Politics

Minister Muloni Explains Soaring Fuel Prices

Lawmakers have accused government of poor economic planning that has led to the increasing fuel prices as well as other essential commodities like Electricity and sugar.

The accusations came up while members were debating the response by the Minister of Energy, Irene Muloni on the pump prices of petroleum products in the country; an issue that was raised by Kampala Central MP, Mohammed Nsereko.

According to the Minister, Uganda being landlocked and a net importer of Refined Petroleum Products, pump prices are a function of the fixed logistical costs which include port handling fees, transit handling charges, storage fees, transportation, taxes, clearing and marking fees.

Muloni said the combination of the logistical costs and the cost of the imported products which increased as a result of increased refinery premiums in the Open Tender System since September 2017, have resulted in the increased pump prices.

“On the supply side we have had stable import of Petroleum Products in the country irrespective of the current infrastructural developments in the Kenya Pipeline Company where the new Mombasa – Nairobi pipeline is undergoing wet testing,” she said.

Muloni assured members that the fuel prices will go down when global prices go down.

Today, a liter of petrol costs between 3720 and 4000 shillings at different fuel stations; with fears that the prices might shoot higher.

The Minister’s explanation however, was rejected by the members who accused her of not offering any solution to the situation at hand.

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Some of the lawmakers including Odonga Otto of Aruu County South and David Guma Gumisiriza of Ibanda North cited the lack of adequate planning and alternative interventions to curb the problem.

“I don’t know why we are ‘roasting’ the Energy Minister yet all these questions about electricity and fuel prices are about the economic planning, which would mean there is no planning in the Ministry of Finance,” Gumisiriza said.

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