FALLS IN DIESEL, LPG AND STEEL PRICES BOOST FIJIAN ECONOMY

CAPTION: Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: MARGARET NAQIRI.

Reductions in the price of diesel fuel, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and steel are set to benefit the Fijian economy in the latest quarterly review of prices by the Commerce Commission based on international fluctuations.

Diesel has been reduced by two cents a litre, LPG ? in cylinders and in bulk ? comes down by three per cent, autogas by two per cent and steel prices have been cut by more than three per cent. There?s been no change in the price of kerosene but petrol has gone up ? motor spirit by five cents a litre and premix by seven cents a litre. The petrol increases come into effect on Monday (April 15th).

The Attorney General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said that the latest changes contained positive news for the Fijian economy. ?The reduction in the price of gas is good news for ordinary Fijian families, as is the fact that the cost of kerosene stays the same. The three per cent cut in steel prices is also positive news for the construction sector. We?re also pleased to see the fall in the price of diesel, which will be welcomed by the public transport and industrial sectors?, he said.

The Attorney General said the downside was the increase in the price of petrol and premix. ?As usual, these prices are set by the global market and are beyond our control. It reminds us that we need to do as much as we can to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and strive to reduce our national fuel bill of $1-billion a year?, he said.

The Attorney General said the Bainimarama Government was already focused to on trying to conserve as much energy as possible and develop alternative fuel sources. ? The Bainimarama Government has provided fiscal and tax incentives to encourage private sector investment in developing renewable energy. We have has also provided a direct budgetary allocation for biodiesel production, especially in rural and maritime areas?, he said.

The Chair of the Fiji Commerce Commission, Dr Mahendra Reddy, also highlighted the positive nature of some of the changes. ? The reduction in the price of steel and gas provides major relief to different sectors of the economy and the Commission is pleased with the impact these cuts will have on Fiji?s overall economic position. We will continue to monitor prices changes in these sectors going forward?, Dr Reddy said.

The price changes are as follows:

Fuel: (To take effect on April 15th)

1/ Diesel: Reduction of two cents a litre from $2.31 to $2.29.

2/ Kerosene: No change. Still $1.86 a litre.

3/ Motor Spirit: Increase of five cents a litre from $2.53 to $2.58.

4/ Premix: Increase of seven cents a litre from $2.47 to $2.54.

Steel: (to take effect on May 1st)

1/ Grade 300: Reduction of 3.14 per cent from $1,908.71 per tonne to $1,848.77 per tonne.

2/ Grade 500: Reduction of 3.14 per cent from $1,975.47 per tonne to $1,913.43 per tonne.

LPG: To take effect on April 15th.

1/? 4.5 KG cylinder: Reduction of three per cent from $17.76 to $17.19.

2/ 12 KG cyclinder: Reduction of three per cent from $47.36 to $45.84

3/ Bulk (KG): Reduction of three per cent from $3.16 to $3.07.

4/ Autogas: Reduction of two per cent from $2.21 to $2.16.

MINFO