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JAMAICA | Opposition PNP says jump in gas price unnecessary

PNP Spokesperson on Energy, Phillip Paulwell PNP Spokesperson on Energy, Phillip Paulwell
Kingston, Jamaica, September 8, 2017: The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) views with deep concern and dismay, the exorbitantly high increase in the ex-refinery price of gas in the region of $3.50, announced this week. The reason given was that of an increase in the prices of petroleum products in the Gulf States, which is attributed to the impact of Hurricane Harvey and the resultant temporary closure of some refineries.

PNP Spokesperson on Energy, Phillip Paulwell said, “While we continue to support the import parity formula of pricing our ex refinery products, we believe that a strict adherence to this during periods of temporary market disturbance or emergency is foolhardy and will be unnecessarily burdensome to our people.”

The fact is that our refinery continues to process its products from crude oil at a very low price of below US$50 per barrel, which will not change much during the hurricane season. However, as a result of our mindless adherence to the import parity formula, consumers in many parts of the country are now having to be pay over J$150 per litre for regular fuel, on the heels of an already arduous back to school outlay.

Mr. Paulwell is citing this action as being seemingly designed to create super profits for the state run Petrojam refinery, without consideration for the consequence of the additional cost to businesses which will subsequently affect the country’s ability to achieve its growth target. The Opposition Spokesman is also expressing a high level of unease in relation to the resultant inflationary pressure on prices of basic goods and services to the masses.

The Member of Parliament for Kingston East and Port Royal said, “As we anticipate further possible disruptions in the market next week due to the passage of Hurricane Irma and others, we call upon the Government to mandate a reprieve/relaxation from the application of the import parity formula until this period of market disruption ends.

Our people are already being tightly squeezed in an unyielding economy and pricing shocks like these in the energy sector, only serve to further pound them under, as action in the sector negatively as well as positively influences all aspects of our economy.

Last modified onFriday, 08 September 2017 20:32
  • Countries: Jamaica