Fuel hikes shall lead to job losses – Mtayachalo



The incessant fuel hikes shall lead to job losses and worsen poverty levels in the country, Chama North Member of Parliament Yotum Mtayachalo has said.

Mr Mtayachalo said it was a fact that fuel and electricity were key drives of the wheels of production and the continued increments in the cost of fuel on monthly basis shall lead to massive job losses in the mining and manufacturing industries.

He said the continued increase in fuel prices would exacerbate the already high poverty levels prevailing in the country.

Mr Mtayachalo said various stakeholders have advised the new dawn administration to re-think whether the monthly fuel review by ERB was in national interest but that the advice had been largely ignored.

“One would wonder how the government will arrest the ever increasing cost of basic needs in the midst of high cost of fuel and electricity. This monthly review of the cost of petroleum products is not ideal for a struggling economy like Zambia in view of the unstable foreign exchange regime. 

Therefore businesses, especially small and medium enterprises are the most affected, needless to say that the businesses are failing to plan because the cost of fuel is not predictable,” Mr Mtayachalo said.

Mr Mtayachalo said Government should also be mindful that the mining industry, which was a life blood of the Zambian economy would be affected as the sector was the biggest consumer of fuel and electricity.

 He stated that the bringing in of finished petroleum products into the country following the closure of Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola has had negative consequences on the petroleum sub sector.

He said many countries in the world including capitalists states and petroleum producing countries such the United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran and Angola maintained fuel subsidies in order to protect their citizens from external shocks.


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