Benjamin Flowers – Staff Reporter
Drivers can expect to pay more for gas at the pumps, following the latest price increase approved by the Government of Belize this week.
On Tuesday, Cabinet approved adjustments to the import duty on fuel to compensate for what the Ministry of Finance described as “continued, significant decrease in domestic crude oil production and the attendant slump in tax revenues and royalties.”
The duty increases come up to 40 cents a gallon for premium gasoline; 30 cents a gallon for regular, and 80 cents a gallon for diesel.
But the blow has been cushioned by lower freight costs on this shipment so that the price at the pump will be $8.99 for premium, $7.98 for regular and $7.52 for diesel. The new prices became effective at noon on Thursday, February 25.
In a release following this week’s Cabinet meeting, the government, said it took into consideration what it described as “massive benefits” accruing from falling international prices.
Those savings were estimated to be in excess of $163 million Bz. last year.
The government also said that because the price of fuel products is likely to vary with each shipment, the Ministry of Finance expects possible decreases in fuel prices in the weeks ahead. The Ministry promised to continue to provide periodic updates on fuel prices and government’s duties structure.
The new prices mark the fourth price adjustment in fuel imports during the first eight weeks of 2016.