Govt to review Petroleum BPS tender premiums 

DAR ES SALAAM: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Dr Doto Biteko has said the government is planning to review Bulk Procurement System (BPS) tender premiums that are used to import petroleum products to ensure that Tanzanians get the actual price.

Dr Biteko made the statement on Thursday during his working visit at the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) offices in Dar es Salaam.

“We have agreed with EWURA, Petroleum Bulk Procurement Agency (PBPA) and the Ministry of Energy that we will review all the premiums that are used to import fuel in the country, so that we get the actual price to ease the burden of regular price fluctuations,” Dr Biteko said.

His visit comes hardly a week after Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa directed him (Biteko) to swiftly take action on fuel crisis by holding a meeting involving all stakeholders.

The Premier issued the directive to the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister in Dodoma last week during the Prime Minister’s Questions session in the National Assembly after Rashid Shangazi (CCM- Mlalo) demanded the government’s response on measures it is instituting to address the crisis that is disrupting economic activities in the country.

Mr Majaliwa told the House that already the Deputy Prime Minister had started meeting fuel importation stakeholders.

“Since Mr Biteko has started meeting stakeholders, I also direct him to work on this matter. What is important for now is to ensure fuel is available across the country,” the Premier was quoted as saying.

The Prime Minister said it was important for the Deputy Prime Minister to meet officials from the Ministry of Finance, EWURA and PBPA and come up with the solution to the problem.

During the same day, National Assembly Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson also called upon the government to conduct thorough assessment and analysis on the current fuel importation system after proving to be problematic.

According to Dr Tulia, it was important to establish the loopholes into the current fuel importation system and seal them, insisting that it was only by carrying out thorough assessment and analysis that the government could address the problem.

Mr Biteko said that fuel challenge is a global issue but insisted that it was imperative for the country to find the lasting solutions.

“There are reasons that exist outside Tanzania, including low fuel production, lack of dollars and the high cost of importing fuel but factors that within our country must be swiftly addressed to reduce the burden on people,” he said.

In solving fuel price challenge, Dr Biteko directed EWURA to review the entire price planning system to ensure that the price caps that are set monthly are in line with the real situation.

He also directed EWURA to step up efforts to facilitate the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), so as to curtail tailpipe emissions, as well as reduce the dependence on imported fossil fuel.

“Make sure that more CNG stations are built countrywide so that more cars can use gas instead of fuel. He insisted that CNG is the potential alternative fuel   due to its abundance and environmental benefits.

“Starting with government vehicles, the fuel system should be changed to CNG to reduce the cost so that fuel saved can be directed towards other economic activities, including the operation of factories,” he said.

He said that energy is needed to promote business, investment and increase employment opportunities for the people so that the government can continue widening tax base and serve Tanzanians.

Moreover, the Deputy Prime Minister instructed EWURA to professionally and honestly work as a team by adhering to the procedures and rules of work.

He also instructed EWURA Board of Directors to identify areas of weaknesses and make reforms in human resources, so that the regulatory can continue to uphold work ethics.

“We need to have honest officials and those who are dishonest should be taught to be honest. We are aware that some of the officials are not honest enough as they collude with oil dealers to reveal internal information.

“Whenever we plan to conduct an operation at the time of fuel crisis, all fuel stations’ owners get the information the same day from dishonest officials within EWURA,” he said.

The government introduced petroleum bulk procurement system purposely to ease importation of petroleum products and promote efficiency in the sector.

Bulk Procurement System (BPS) is the system established pursuant to Petroleum Act and The Petroleum (Bulk Procurement System) Regulations, 2017 to govern the importation of petroleum product into the country.

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