Move to reduce fuel price is ‘political gimmick’– operators

Ever since the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil) announced a reduction in gas prices which took effect from Monday last, vehicle owners and operators are of the belief that it is nothing but a political gimmick to score points.
This move comes weeks after oil prices would have dropped drastically on the international market.
Super 95 Gasoline is now being wholesaled at $208.00 per litre or 27.44 per cent less, and Gasoil (LSD) at $207.00 per litre which 15.85 per cent less.
Meanwhile, retail customers will pay $218.00 per litre for Super 95 Gasoline or 30.77 per cent less and $217.00 per litre for Gasoil (LSD) or 19.72 per cent less.
The move to lower these prices came as a surprise to citizens, who expressed that it is seen as a “political gimmick”, given the present situation of the country following the no-confidence vote.
Speaking with this publication, Lingo (only name given) stated, “I see this as a political gimmick. It ain’t really make nothing much because is the same expense when it raise back higher. This decrease is only for what going on now. This look like it would rapidly increase back in like a short time after or during this period.”
Another operator, Cleon noted that it is too early to determine if the new prices would be beneficial. “We have to wait and see because at the end of the day, we got to calculate how much we get out of the amount that we buy. It’s early to say what’s the impact.”
Government sought to indicate that this reduction came after Caricom suspended the Common External Tariff following the closure of Petroleum Trinidad (Petrotrin).
Petrotrin was previously Guyana’s main fuel supplier.
“Caricom’s subsequent approval would have also led to a reduction in acquisition costs. The Government, through The Guyana Oil Company, is therefore proud to cause these reductions to the benefit of all consumers,” the company stated.
However, statistics show that the prices for oil have been declining since November 2018, where it stood at US$50.78 per barrel. In December, the prices were at US$45.41 per barrel.
At present, oil is priced at US$55.26 per barrel.
The parliamentary Opposition has long called on Government, through GuyOil, to reduce gas prices. At a previous press conference, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had said that there is fiscal space to make the adjustment with the tax regime to allow a reduction of gas prices for local consumers.
Jagdeo had related that under the previous Administration, there was a system used in cases like these, where the taxes can be adjusted based on the movement up or down of the gas price so that the benefits would be passed on to the people.
Given the mounting criticisms and the need for serious attention to be paid to the issue, the PPP/C General Secretary had said that “The Government, through public pressure, must adjust the rate at the pump. They have a lot of room. They have the fiscal space as well as the tax play to make that adjustment.”
He had recalled when the prices for crude oil stood at about US$75 per barrel, lower than the US$120 high, before the rapid tumble a few years ago to about US$28.
“We had argued that with the rapid tumble, the benefits should have been passed on to the Guyanese public, who would have seen lower prices at the pump and in their electricity bill. They never did that. And what happened was that they raked in billions in revenue; they collected over $25 billion at GPL alone.”