Subsidies for the rich?

Dear Editor, IT is one thing to say that the removal of subsidies on fuel pump price was justified because consumptive subsidies in Zambia only benefitted the well-off in society. But it is equally naïve to pretend that the removal of fuel subsidies would not spark grumbling reactions by the not so well-off in society due to the sharp increase in transport fares and the prices of other goods and services. “Subsidies for the rich – Chikwanda” (Daily Nation, October 18, 2016) gave the impression that commercial entities were the ones who benefitted from the fuel subsidies and not the ordinary Zambians. Nevertheless, one could understand fully well that removal of subsidies on fuel pump prices is not a magic formula that would address every economic challenge, but it provides a good entry point for transforming the economy, and for ensuring transparency and actualisation of the government-to-government procurement policy direction in the oil industry, which is the blood vessel of our economy. To ensure that the funds from petroleum subsidies removal  are spent prudently on oil-related projects that would build a greater oil industry in Zambia, the Ministry of Energy must establish a committee to oversee the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Construction of the petroleum pipeline between Angola and Zambia, and the establishment of the country’s second petroleum refinery in North-Western province that would be processing the crude oil feedstock from the oil-rich neighbouring country and eventually cutout middlemen that tend to push up fuel prices in the oil procurement process. All in all, I sincerely believe that the reinvestment of the petroleum subsidy funds, to ensure the improvement in the national energy-mix infrastructure, power supply, transportation, irrigation and agriculture, education, healthcare, and other social services would be in the best interest of both the poor and rich Zambian people. Mubanga Luchembe, LUSAKA

One thought on “Subsidies for the rich?

  1. THIS THING OF SUBSIDIES REMOVAL IS JUST NONSENSE! IN THE WESTERN COUNTRIES THEY SUBSIDIZE LITERALLY EVERYTHING TO PROTECT THEIR PEOPLE FROM BEING INJURED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE ECONOMIES, WHY DONT THEY WANT US TO DO THE SAME HERE? WE WILL NEVER DEVELOP WITH AN UNPREDICTABLE ECONOMY, WHERE INGREDIENTS LIKE FUEL, WATER, ELECTRICITY ARE UN AFFORDABLE, MEANS END PRODUCT WILL NOT BE COMPETITIVE IN THE REGION!

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