ANDD COUNSELS UPND GOVT ON DEPLETION OF FOUR-MONTH FUEL PRICE SUBSIDY

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ANDD Executive Director Samuel Banda

ANDD COUNSELS UPND GOVT ON DEPLETION OF FOUR-MONTH FUEL PRICE SUBSIDY

Lusaka…Wednesday January 24, 2024 (SMART EAGLES)

Advocates for National Development and Democracy (ANDD), have expressed worry at the revelation from the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), that the four-month fuel subsidy has depleted.

ANDD Executive Director Samuel Banda is concerned that this development will lead to an eminent hike in fuel which will have a detrimental effect on the country’s socio-economic trajectory.

He noted with concern that the development comes amidst the continued volatility of the Kwacha, coupled with the escalating cost of doing business and living.

Mr Banda says this news points to nothing but to eminent high cost of doing business resulting in socio-economic instability.

“As an organization, we want to advise the government to ensure they arrest this issue as soon as possible to guard against further deterioration of the Kwacha against other convertible currencies,” Mr Banda advised.

He said addressing the current high fuel prices will therefore necessitate a comprehensive approach, including exploring viable options within the country’s economic framework.

He however observed that the mining sector currently remains the best among other options, to resuscitate the economy through cushioning against price shocks from fuel.

“President Hakainde Hichilema’s Government should as a matter of urgency, ensure the mining sector starts to operate effectively and efficiently to cushion against economic instabilities such as Kwacha volatility among others,” he added.

Mr Banda has, therefore, appealed to President Hakainde Hichilema to expedite the Vedanta-KCM transition process so that Konkola Copper Mine can start operating optimally.

He further noted that Mopani mine equally needs to start operating optimally so that from the mining sector, the country can generate revenue through foreign exchange to stabilize the Kwacha, and to equally subsidise fuel.

He said Government’s intervention in the mining sector can enhance resource availability, promote energy security, and contribute to price stabilization, ultimately benefiting the economy and citizens.

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