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Government gives serious consideration to fuel price cap

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Monday 28 February 2011 – The Government of Saint Lucia is considering instituting a cap on the price of fuel and other petroleum products in the event that international crude oil prices continue to escalate.


Minister responsible for Commerce and Industry Honourable Tessa Mangal, says the possible implementation of a cap on gas prices is under consistent review by government.


Minister Mangal says technocrats from the ministries of Commerce and Economic Affairs and Finance, are scrutinizing aspects of the Fuel Pass Through Pricing Mechanism to see how best government can cushion the impact of rising international oil prices on consumers.


“The next prices adjustment under the Fuel Pass Through Pricing Mechanism is expected to take effect in mid March. We are hopping that prior to that time we will be able to get some guidance from the technocrats in order to formulate a policy decision from the government stand-point,but that is totally in the hands of the technocrats who have been given the mandate.”


International crude oil prices sky-rocketed past $US100 a barrel ever since the start of unrest in the oil rich middle eastern region.


Minister Mangal says the Government of Saint Lucia is closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East with hoping for an amicable solution to the unrest.


“Continued or sustained unrest in the Middle East can only spell more trouble for us. As a government, our concern is to be able to safeguard the resources for government and at the same time look after the consuming public to ensure that they are cushioned from the effects.”


Minister Mangal says government's decision on the possible implementation of a cap on gas prices will be guided following consultation with various stakeholders including the Petroleum Dealers Association and the National Consumers' Association.


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