By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh on Monday, January 19, announced reductions in prices for gasoline, diesel and kerosene at the Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil) Stations.
The reduction is expected to take effect from January 19 at gas stations across the country with prices that are the lowest since early 2009.
Gas price will be reduced from $995per gallon to $695, representing a 30% reduction. Diesel price was also reduced by 30%, from $985 to $694 and Kerosene saw a reduction of 42%, from $850 to $496.
The issue of gas prices has generated considerable public discussion and debate in light of declining fuel prices on the world market, some of which the Finance Minister believes are misinformed.
At a press conference, Dr. Singh explained that “government has had in place for the longest while a well-functioning mechanism for adjusting excise taxes charged on fuel products… the excise taxes rates are adjusted downwards when world market prices are moving upwards and the rates are adjusted upwards when world market prices are moving downwards.”
“This was achieved by government lowering the tax rate on gasoline over that period.”
He said as prices started to subside on the world market, the tax rate was adjusted upwards.
“This was done automatically and without contention for the past several years.”
The Minister explained that in keeping with the mechanism to adjust taxes on fuel, gasoline will now attract excise taxes at a rate of 50% and diesel at a rate of 42% with effect from January 20.
“These prices will continue to be adjusted upwards and downwards as the world market prices fluctuate” the Finance Minister said.
No excise taxes will be charged on kerosene. The Minister urged other oil companies operating in Guyana to follow suit and reduce prices similarly and urged providers of transportation services to consider passing on these reduction in fuel prices immediately to the consumers and the travelling public.