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The other side of the fuel price increase

May 17, 2012, 2:32 PM | Article By: employees,petroleum,fuel,salary,allowance

The most noticeable outcome of the widely talked about increase in petroleum fuel prices has been the scarcity in the number of vehicles plying our roads, and the number of people seen stranded on a daily basis, in the early hours of the morning, as they head to work due to this increase.

This latest increase in petroleum fuel prices, which followed similar unannounced ones in the past few months is, no doubt, causing so much problems, especially for civil servants and students. It is virtually the only thing everyone seems to be discussing these days.

While it is evident that petrol stations have to make a profit, and are also important stakeholders in the socio-economic development of this country, they must be seen to be reasonable enough in the way and manner in which they increase fuel prices.

Whether it is known or not, this increment has worsened the situation that existed before, in which passengers are charged three or more times the normal fares they pay to get to their final destination.

Taking a stroll around Westfield junction and various traffic points in the early hours of the morning, one would see countless commuters and business people stranded waiting for transportation that never seems to arrive or, if it does, the arrivals are few and far between.

For Government offices, the private sector and businesses, a significant drop in operations and productivity is to be expected as many employees, entrepreneurs and consumers experience long delays in reaching their offices and other places of work.

As a result, productivity declines as does income and revenue. This, therefore, negatively affects employees and students, who have to get to their respective workplaces or schools on time.

However, one needs to understand that whereas some of the petrol stations may have chosen to increase the prices of petroleum fuel, many of them were compelled by circumstances to do so, some of which are the high taxes levied on them.

Indeed, it is not their fault, and one needs to understand this point.

We, therefore, would like to urge employers to be reasonable enough, and not to blame their staff for getting to work late.

It is clear that considering the amount they receive as their salary or transport allowance, most workers now cannot afford to pay three times the normal taxi fares, due to the increase of the prices of petroleum fuel.

“Try to arrange things so that you can have a reasonable bit of quiet every day.”

Evelyn Underhill