Center for Social Concern says fuel price hike likely to push up poverty levels

Mponela market

A local Civil Society Organisation, Center for Social Concern, says the rise in fuel prices in the country has potential to worsen poverty levels of low income earning Malawians who are currently struggling to make ends meets due to already high prices of most basic commodities.

Center for Social Concern Officer, Economic Governance and Programmes Officer, Bernard Mphepo, made the comment in an interview with Malawi24.

He observed that the fuel hike will in turn influence price increases on basic commodities thereby worsening poverty levels among Malawians of low incomes.

Mphepo said that prices of basic commodities are increasing every time and again such that those in low income category are struggling to make ends meet.

He added that Center for Social Concern did a survey which revealed that on average a family spends K225,000 a month saying the current K50,000 minimum wage for most wage earners is too little for survival compared to the K225,000 monthly expenditures.

He therefore asked government to raise minimum wage from K50,000 to K100,000 to be in line with high cost of living which has been worsened by Malawi’s troubled economy.

“We appeal to government to raise minimum wage from K50,0000 to K100,000 per month for allow those with low income to afford some of the basic commodities,” Mphepo added.

He further asked the government to implement measures that should cushion Malawians from economic hardship so that citizens should manage their day to day life.

Mphepo said government should also ensure that prices of food are stable and should ensure that food in the country remain sufficient for consumption this agricultural season.

He further appealed to government to put in place policies that should see many companies in the country manufacturing food to avoid importing most food which Mphepo observed influence price hike of some basic food commodities.

“As Center for Social Concern, we wish to see government introducing policies that can help to stabilize prices of basic commodities,” he added.

Recently Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) announced hike on prices of petrol from K1,150 per liter to K1,3 80 while diesel price was raised from K1,120 to K1,470 per litre.