The decrease recorded for the reference price of petrol and diesel as set by the State Trading Corporation (STC) – company set by the Mauritian Government to deal with the imports of certain commodities like fuel and rice – is above 9 %. This value is the one noted down for a period of one year. However, nothing is there to rejoice about this news for the public; the pump price has not been affected by this decrease. Uh-oh. People will still have to pay for their fuel at the same price – no reduction in price for them, and this will remain so for a while…
Who is behind the decisions? The Petroleum Pricing Committee (PPC), assigned as the decision-maker for the setting of the price of fuel, had already concluded from the beginning of the month of May that the current prices will be maintained. The purpose behind this is for the long term stabilisation of fuel price to be established. The decreases in the price of petrol and diesel not being cumulative have thus not impacted upon the pump price. So, while the reference price has come from Rs 32847.57 ($ 1073.45) per tonne to Rs 29682 ($ 970) in a little over a year, the price the fuels are sold to the public has remained at Rs 52.25 per liter. It was on the 2nd of March of last year that the reference price was at its highest, and on the 4th of May 2014, it has gone down to $ 920. But, who cares, it does not make any difference to the consumers! Well, this state of affairs does have its good side as well. While the global market had known quite some disbalances in terms of the price last year, the consumer has benefitted of a stable price.
The STC defends this line of action, saying that they have resorted to a purposefully cautious management of the market of fuels which has culminated to the current system, whereby the stable price can be maintained. Reaching an equilibrium in this sense is advantageous to the consumers so that they are able to plan their budget and expenses in, at least, the medium term, instead of having to dodge through fluctuation prices. If this system had not been initiated, the inflation increases would have resulted thereof, which would be detrimental to all consumers.
The STC will be able to contain the fluctuations that occur on the global market, so that the price the consumer has to pay for fuel remains steady; so, in case increases occur, the consumer will stay pay the same price.