East Africa

More pain for Tanzanians as fuel prices soar


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By BEATRICE MATERU


Tanzanians face more squeeze on household budgets with the increase in fuel prices from Wednesday, despite a government subsidy.

The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) set the new retail prices at Tsh3,410 ($1.48) for a litre of petrol and Tsh3,322 ($1.42) for diesel in Dar es Salaam on the back of the increased cost of fuel in the global market when it made its purchase in June.

“The prices of oil in the world market continue to rise and thus causing fuel prices in the local market to increase as well,” said Modestus Lumato, Ewura’s Director-General, in the monthly review.

Kerosene prices recorded the highest jump to Tsh3,700 ($1.59) a litre, up from Tsh3,442 ($1.47) a litre in July, a Tsh258 ($0.11) increase.

Petrol shot up by Tsh190 ($0.81) up from Tsh3,220 ($1.38) last month, while diesel was up Tsh179 ($0.08) from Tsh3,143 ($1.34).

“For Tsh10,000 ($4.29), one will only get two litres of either petrol or diesel and some change,” lamented Sunday John, a motorist in Kigoma on the August review.

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The prices will pile more pressure on households and motorists, given that diesel is a key determinant of the basket of goods and services used to measure inflation.

Producers of services such as electricity and manufactured goods usually factor in the higher cost of petroleum.

Without the fuel subsidy, Mr Lumato said a litre of petrol would have jumped to Tsh3,630 ($1.57) in Dar and Tsh3,762 ($1.61) in Mtwara, in southern Tanzania, about 564km from the coastal commercial hub of Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania introduced a Tsh100 billion ($42 million) monthly subsidy in June.

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