Energy Minister Dora Siliya has ruled out any reduction in fuel pump prices in the country as long as the exchange rate remains volatile.
In a ministerial statement to Parliament on why fuel prices in the country have not been reduced despite oil prices on the international market reducing, Ms. Siliya says the depreciation of the Kwacha against major convertible currencies has cancelled out any benefit that could have reflected in reduced fuel pump prices.
She says with the volatility in the exchange market, it is not prudent to adjust prices in any direction until such a time when the direction of the exchange rate is certain and predictable.
Ms. Siliya adds that while the international prices of oil have fallen, other cost elements in the cost-plus that need to be fully accounted for ought to increase.
The Energy Minister further states that the commingled petroleum feedstock that Zambia imports is relatively higher on the international market than that of pure crude oil which is normally quoted on the international market.
And Ms. Siliya says Zambia continues to be one of the lowest in the region in terms of the fuel pump price.
She says government is currently subsidizing the price of fuel in order to cushion citizens against price fluctuations.
The price of Brent crude oil on the international market is currently at US$34 per barrel.