The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) says the hiking of fuel amid persistent blackouts in the country is just better telling Malawian companies to shut down.
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) announced the hiking of fuel last Thursday on 4th November 2016 and the development comes a month after another adjustment.
Reacting to the development, MCCCI chief executive officer, Chancellor Kaferapanjira, the raising has not come in the right time.
He said considering the current persistent blackouts which has hit hard the country, this is just mockery and says it is a setback to the production industry.
“It is a big blow, we are aware indeed that kwacha has depreciated and i think that is the main reason for hiking.
But when the hike comes at a time when every industry is using diesel to run the factory because Escom is denying electricity then it is as good as telling companies that we don’t want your industry in Malawi.” Said Kaferapanjira.
He further said Mera would have used money from the price stabilization fund but Instead of using it in reducing the cost of fuel, they have used in buying maize which according to him it away from its intended purpose.
Meanwhile, MERA has described the recent rise of fuel price as being in the best interest of poor Malawians. The body which is responsible for determining fuel prices in the county says it has managed to protect Malawians from a huge hike.
Speaking to the local media, Public Relations Officer for the energy regulatory body Selina Khonje said that they have only raised the prices by 4 percent instead of the necessary 8 percent.
“The fuel prices were supposed to go up by 8 percent but have gone by 4 percent only,” she explained. Khonje further claimed that the fuel prices were supposed to go up three months ago but the body decided to delay the hike.
The new prices see petrol selling at K824.70 per litre from K788.30, Diesel going at K815.80 litre from K766.90 and Paraffin selling at K648.70 per litre from K609.80. The prices were effective November 4th.