Govt announces major reduction of gasoline, diesel prices at GuyOil
…20% gasoline decrease, 15% diesel reduction
…to take effect from today
Government has announced a major reduction in gasoline prices at the pumps, with the State-owned Guyana Oil Company Limited (GuyOil) to slash its gasoline prices by as much as 20 per cent.
In the announcement on Saturday, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh noted that prices at the pump charged by GuyOil will be reduced, from $269 per litre to $215 per litre.
Additionally, diesel prices will be reduced by 15 per cent from $265 per litre to $225 per litre. These changes, according to the Minister, are expected to start taking effect as early as today, October 2, 2022.
Dr Singh explained that during the first half of 2022, global oil prices surged more than 50 per cent, increasing from US$77 per barrel at the end December 2021 to US$120 in June of this year. In fact, oil prices rose as high as US$137 per barrel primarily as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The impact of the dramatic increases in oil prices were significant and given the interconnected nature of the global economy, translated into higher cost of landing fuel in Guyana. In order to mitigate the impact of rising global fuel prices on domestic consumers and the productive sectors to which fuel is a key input, the Government lowered the Excise Tax rate on both gasoline and diesel from 10 per cent to 0 per cent in March of this year.”
“It would be recalled that, previously, during the Budget 2022 presentation, the Government lowered the Excise Tax on both gasoline and diesel from 20 per cent to 10 per cent so as to minimise the impact of rising global oil prices,” the Minister further explained.
Over a period of time, the Government has been progressively lowering the Excise Tax rate on both gasoline and diesel, from 50 per cent to 35 per cent in February 2021, and from 35 per cent to 20 per cent in October 2021. This is in keeping with Government policy to adjust the taxes on fuel, to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices on the world market.
“Since resuming office in August 2020, the PPP/C Government has implemented a suite of measures to ease cost of living pressures and to improve disposable incomes, in an ongoing effort to address these issues head-on and to mitigate the effects of rising prices globally on all Guyanese citizens. The reduction in Excise Taxes is one such measure within the wide menu of measures implemented by Government since assuming office,” the Minister said in the statement.
GuyOil, as the State-owned company, usually has a significant influence on the setting of prices across gas stations, even those privately owned as they try to keep their prices competitive. But in March of this year when Government had announced the removal of Excise Tax on fuel, several privately owned gas stations in Georgetown and along the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) corridor had been slow to follow suit with lowering their prices.
Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat had explained to this publication that regulatory agencies like the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and the Office of the Prime Minister are responsible for ensuring gas stations comply with any requirement to decrease their prices.
Bharrat had gone on to make a personal appeal to business owners to ensure their prices are adjusted now that they no longer have to pay this Excise Tax on fuel. According to the Natural Resources Minister, the removal of Excise Tax on fuel is expected to benefit the people of Guyana, as the Government is aware of the challenges Guyanese are facing as a result of the rising cost of living on the international scene.