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Fuel prices up

Mpeshe Selebalo
MASERU — There was no joy for motorists last Friday after the Petroleum Fund increased fuel prices.
The Fund, which regulates the petroleum industry, increased the price of petrol by 15 lisente while diesel was increased by 20 lisente.
Paraffin, which is used by the majority of Lesotho’s poor, was increased by 20 lisente.
The latest price hikes are likely to hit hard on motorists and dampen the festive mood this November.
The price increases will also undo the savings enjoyed by local motorists after last month’s fuel price cuts.
Economic observers say the hikes will have a ripple effect in industry resulting in an increase in the prices of basic commodities.
The price hikes will vary according to region, according to a statement released by the Petroleum Fund.
For Zone One, which includes the lowlands such as Quthing and Qacha’s Nek, the price of petrol has been increased from M6.55 to M6.70 per litre while the price of diesel jumped from M6.80 to M7.
The wholesale price of paraffin shot from M4.55 to M4.75 per litre.
For Zone Two which is in Mphaki in the southern part of the country, the price of petrol shot from M6.65 to M6.76 per litre.
Diesel increased from M6.86 to M7.06 per litre. Wholesale paraffin shot from M4.60 to M4.80.
In Zone Three, the price of petrol shot from M6.64 to M6.79 per litre while diesel shot up from M6.89 to M7.09 while paraffin shot up from M4.63 to M4.83 per litre.
In Mokhotlong (Zone Four), the price of petrol shot from M6.73 to M6.88 while diesel increased from M6.98 to M7.18 a litre.
The Petroleum Fund said the price increases were triggered by the latest increases in the price of crude oil on the international market and the strengthening of the United States dollar against the loti.
The Fund appealed to retailers to charge the gazetted prices saying it was illegal to charge prices that were different from the gazetted prices.
“Any retailer who will be found in contravention of (the set prices) shall be prosecuted accordingly,” said Mahooana Peete, the executive secretary of the Fund.

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