The Sunday Mail
The price of fuel yesterday remained unchanged at an average $1,34 for diesel and $1,38 for petrol despite the coming into effect of increased excise duty on petroleum imports on December 1, 2018.
The Sunday Mail has also established that Government has reduced the mandatory blending ratio of ethanol with unleaded petrol from 20 percent to 15 percent.
There were fears of an immediate hike in fuel prices yesterday as the excise duty on diesel and petrol rose by seven and 6,7 percent respectively. Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube announced the increase in the 2019 National Budget Statement a fortnight ago.
A snap survey by The Sunday Mail in Harare yesterday showed that fuel stations that were dispensing petroleum products had not increased prices.
The supply situation, however, remained constrained and lengthy queues characterised fuel stations.
And in a Government Gazette published last Friday, Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Jorum Gumbo said the ethanol blending level was being reduced with immediate effect.
“It is hereby notified, in terms of section 4(1) of the Petroleum (Mandatory Blending of Anhydrous Ethanol with Unleaded Petrol) Regulations, 2013, published in Statutory Instrument 17 of 2013, that the Minister of Energy and Power Development approves the current level of mandatory blending to 15 per centum.
“The consequence of this approval is that all licensed operators shall from the date of publication of the general notice be mandated to sell unleaded petrol blended at E15,” reads part of the notice.
Government introduced mandatory blending of unleaded petrol with ethanol in 2013, and this has seen the country saving around $64 million on fuel imports annually.