Tanzanians brace for high petrol prices

oil

Effective July 1, the new taxes on petroleum products will set in across Tanzania and motorists will feel the pinch as they pay higher prices on the pump.

This will be the fourth time this year fuel prices are going up in the East African nation.

Petrol price set to rise by 11 percent a litre on Wednesday. The price jump come at a time when the price of crude oil has slightly rebounded on the world market coupled with the weakened shilling against the dollar.

The new taxes and prices on petroleum products were stipulated in the recently passed FY 2015/16 budget.

Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) announced Tuesday in Dar es Salaam retail prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene per litre have now increased by Tsh232 (11.8 percent), Tsh261 (14.6per cent) and Tsh369 (22.7 per cent) respectively.

Higher prices will kick in with effect from midnight tonight, the state utility body EWURA has said.

This means petrol in Dar es Salaam will be vended at Tsh2, 198 per litre, Tsh2, 043 for diesel and Tsh1, 993 for kerosene.

Felix Ngamlagosi, Ewura, Director General told the press they are closely monitoring whether or not oil marketing firms are stashing fuel pending fuel increments.

“We have issued a strong warning to five oil marketing firms not to hoard fuel to cause shortage at filling stations run short,” he said.

The regulator, however quickly went on to denounce claims that there was shortage of petroleum products in the local market yet.

The available fuel stock can sustain the nation for a period of twelve days. Moreover two ships were at the Dar port discharging fuel, says Ewura’s Director of Petroleum Godwin Samwel.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hajji Semboja an economist at the University of Dar es Salaam told this website, the new petrol price hike was anticipated after the finance minister released the national budget three weeks ago.

Semboja says if the money generated from the price increase is effectively to implement rural electrification, then it’s well and good.

But he cautions that “the new tax adjustment and especially on petroleum products shall seriously hike other commodities and services and the government should be cautious as they put in place these new policies”

“It is what it is, there is nothing we can do now, we will have to increase prices on our products to make up for the high prices,” A produce trader in Dar es Salaam, David Masumbuku told Afrika Reporter.