MASERU — The next time you drive into a service station to fill up, expect to pay 50 lisente less than what you paid for a litre of petrol last week. This is because the Petroleum Fund, the organization that regulates the industry, slashed the price of fuel with effect from last Friday.
Those that use diesel will now pay 60 lisente less per litre. The reduction is a welcome reprieve for consumers who are already squeezed by increases in prices of other products. In real terms it means motorists will be able to make a M5 saving for every 10 litres of petrol bought.
That amount is enough to buy a loaf of bread. Those that use diesel will make a saving of M6 on every 10 litres. The saving could translate into hundreds of Maloti for companies and other institutions. The price of illuminating paraffin has also been slashed by 35 lisente.
The new prices however differ according to zone to take into account the transport costs that service stations incur. For Zone I which covers the lowlands including Quthing and Qacha’s Nek the price of petrol is M6.55 per litre, diesel M6.80 per litre and wholesale paraffin M 4.55 per litre. For Zone II (Mphaki) the newprices are M6.61 per litre, diesel will be going for M6.86 per litre and the wholesale price of paraffin is M4.60 per litre.
The new fuel prices for Thaba- Tseka are M6.64 a litre, M6.89 per litre, while paraffin is M4.63 a litre. For Mokhotlong the price of petrol is M6.73 a litre, a litre of diesel is M6.98 while the price of paraffin is M4.71 a litre. The Petroleum Fund attributed the reduction to the strengthening loti and rand against the United States dollar. “The main reason for the decreases is the current strengthening of rand/loti against the US dollar which has resulted in these products experiencing unit slate over-recoveries,” the fund said in a statement.
“The Petroleum Fund wishes to appeal to all retailers to charge proper prices because it is illegal to charge prices that are different from the gazette ones.” It said there was a tendency “in the past by some retailers of charging prices that are different from those set”. It warned that retailers caught overcharging will be prosecuted.