Dossier de la Rédaction


Readjusting To Development Exigencies

Governments sometimes take bold decisions in order to achieve bold projects.

Such decisions, most of the time may provoke diverse interpretations from the population but sometimes end up convincing the same population they were after all necessary for their own interest. This is the case with yesterday’s decision to step up the price of fuel beginning today, July 01. Two main justifications have been advanced in favour of the increase; continuous increase in the price of petrol on the World market and the heavy weight the State subsidies on fuel prices has so far had on the State budget.

According to the press statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, a litre of super will henceforth cost FCFA 650 up from FCFA 569 indicating a percentage increase of 14.2; a litre of gasoil a percentage increase of 15.4 or FCFA 600 compared to FCFA 520 and a 12.5 kg bottle of cooking gas selling at FCFA 6,500 instead of FCFA 6,000.

The figures from a microscopic view may send shock waves down the spines of many a Cameroonian, but a comparative examination of the repercussions from the point of view of fallouts may tell a different story. In effect, to go by the spirit of the decision, government wants resources to finance projects that are of utmost importance to the greater majority of the population. These include projects in the fields of education, health and infrastructure among others.

Putting aside the advantage business opportunists may take from this decision; that of stepping up rates, notably transport cost on grounds that fuel prices have been increased, it is important not to completely down play the advantages government is presenting to justify its decision. 

In effect, between 2008 and 2013, the State spent FCFA 1,200 billion as fuel subsidies. In the same vein, FCFA 157 billion has already been spent within the first half of 2014 to subsidize fuel prices. Government’s reasoning wave length is that these financial resources could have been diverted into projects that will benefit the greater majority of the population.

Now; the question people seem to be asking; a logical one of course, is how do the population absorb the shocks that may be provoked by the increase? From every indication, government has its own answer to that. It is in the accompanying measures it has taken to attenuate such shocks.

These include:  maintaining the price of kerosene at the present rate of FCFA 350.  This particular product is consumed by the greater majority of the population. Another accompanying measure is a 50 percent reduction of global tax, parking fee and other related taxes. In the same vein, the government has equally decided to revalorize the salaries of State agents and kick-start negotiations in view of revalorizing the SMIG.

These measures seem to be enough at a glance and readily justify government’s clarion call for the population to exercise a sense of responsibility and patriotism. This entails that business people, especially vehicle owners and drivers should refrain from taking advantage of this to step up rates to the detriment of the consumers. Now that the decision has been taken, the population is surely and anxiously waiting to enjoy the proceeds.   

Commentaires (0)
Seul les utilisateurs enregistrés peuvent écrire un commentaire!

!joomlacomment 4.0 Copyright (C) 2009 . All rights reserved."

haut de page