Tanzania to regulate petroleum business next year

Aug 06, 1999 02:00 AM

Tanzanian Minister of Energy and Minerals Abdallah Kigoda announced that the government plans to enact a law and establish an authority to regulate petroleum business before June next year.
Kigoda said this in a motion tabled to the National Assembly (parliament) in the central city of Dodoma following complaints made by members of parliament over the increase of petroleum prices, which would trigger hiking of commodity prices countrywide.
Apart from the proposed legislation and authority, the government is preparing temporary regulations to control the liberalised sector, reports reaching here quoted Kigoda as saying. He said there are fears that big operators of petroleum products in the world are colluding to fix prices of essential goods, frustrating fair trade practices.
Unfortunately, the Tanzanian government is unable to control prices of petroleum because it does not produce crude oil while prices of the refined oil is being fixed by importers, the energy minister noted.
Kigoda said the increase of petrol in the world market by around 50 % and depreciation of the Tanzanian shilling against the dollar has further complicated the situation. He promised that the government will continue to review its petrol price structure in a bid to ensure effective competition in the sector. But he noted fixing of petrol prices is a complex exercise that needs enough time before the government could make major decisions.
Meanwhile, an MP criticised the government for failing to control prices of petroleum thus making the public shoulder extra burdens. MP Anthony Diallo of the ruling Tanzanian Revolutionary Party told that the rise of petroleum prices was in fact caused by the increase of many taxes and poor irrational price structures.
He said the government is making excuses that the increase of petroleum prices was simply caused by world prices and the government actually has the capacity to control petroleum prices.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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