A local think-tank said on Wednesday that Zambia’s petroleum sector requires an overhaul in order to operate efficiently. petroleum
The overhauling of the sector should include liberalizing it in order to allow the private sector to be responsible for the procurement of the country’ petroleum needs.
“This may reduce the financial burden on the treasury and possibly free up resources to other sectors. Government must stiffen measures to ensure there is uninterrupted flow of petroleum products into the country to guarantee supply and ensure stable and predictable prices,” the Policy Monitoring and Research Center (PMRC), said in its analysis of the country’s petroleum sector.
According to the analysis, the government should also revisit and reform the controls and taxes governing the petroleum procurement system in order to allow greater competition in the market, a move that may result in the elimination of expensive procurement procedures.
Currently, Zambia total petroleum procurements are met through imports because the southern African nation does not have any proven reserves of crude oil and the government is involved in the procurement process.
According to the current arrangement, petroleum products are transported from the Tanzanian Port of Dar-es-Salaam through a pipeline, the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipelines to the country’s sole oil refinery, Indeni Refinery. The refined oil is then distributed and marketed by Oil Marketing Companies to various parts of the country.
According to the statement, Oil Marketing Companies were not able to import finished products due to high import duty of 25 percent on petrol and diesel and the think-tank has since asked the government to consider reducing the rate of taxes on petroleum products.
According to figure from the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), a government agency that regulates the energy sector, Zambia’s average daily consumption of petrol is 1.11 million liters, diesel 2.28 million liters and kerosene 50, 000 liters. Enditem

-Xinhua

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