Rising fuel prices hitting local businesses hard – GCCI
If you drive a car or any motor vehicle for that matter, then you are among the many Guyanese currently feeling the squeeze of the sharp increase in fuel prices.
Checks made at the major gas stations in Georgetown show Shell’s price at: Fuel Save – $207.0 per litre, V-Power – $212.0 per litre, Diesel – $185.0 per litre; the Rubis Vlissengen Road gas station: Pure 95 Gasolene – $210 per litre, Diesel – $189 per litre; at GuyOil Super 95 Gasolene is $203 per litre, Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel $190, Kerosene $125 per litre.
This hike has sparked major concerns not only for consumers but for local businesses as well.
President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Timothy Tucker, addressed the issue on Thursday during an interview with the News Room.
He acknowledged that local businesses have been hit hard by the gas prices but he pointed out that even more pressure is being placed on ordinary consumers in the pandemic-driven economy.
“It is a double-whammy situation for Guyana because we are now an oil exporter so the rising prices actually benefit us as an exporter or crude but as a consumer, it is putting us at a disadvantage…it is automatically affecting everybody’s daily operations,” Tucker told the News Room.
The increase is not uncommon, the Chamber President explained as it is attributed to the rise in world oil prices. In fact, the government had taken heed of this and instituted a slash in the excise tax on gasoline and diesel back in February.
Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh had cited the steady hike in oil prices on the world market, from US$35 per barrel in October 2020 to over US$60 per barrel resulting in a rise in the domestic market.
The government’s slash in excise tax was meant to minimise the impact on domestic consumers, particularly, the travelling public as well as those in the productive sector where fuel is an important input but it did nothing to help the prices falter.
Tucker indicated, however, that the Chamber is paying close attention to the prices. Should it go over a certain marker, efforts will be made to appeal to the government for a subsidy on fuel for businesses as the trickle-down effort will not bode well for consumers.
“It is important because we can become lost…we cannot be able to compete and it will automatically affect everything, all the goods, and services that are provided by the locals,” the Chamber President said.