The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has warned retailers of Liquefied Petroleum (GAS) who adjust prices unilaterally without following the due process as set by the Board, that they risk facing enforcement action.
ERB Public Relations Manager, Kwali Mfuni says the recent investigations have revealed that some retailers of LP Gas have been arbitrary adjusting prices without authority from the regulator which is contrary to ERB stipulated guidelines for retail pricing of LP Gas on the Zambian market.
In a statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka this afternoon, Ms Mfuni indicated that under the guidelines, licenses must submit proposed price adjustments to ERB for approval prior to effecting changes.
“The primary objective to cross check and confirm that proposed prices reflect the cost incurred in the procurement and supply of LP Gas to avoid exploitation of consumers. In lieu of setting the retail prices of LP Gas, the ERB has allowed oil marketing companies to determine retail prices of LP Gas through light – handed regulation as a way of promoting growth and competition in the sector,” she noted.
Ms Mfuni adds “This would help improve the quality of service in the sector and ultimately attract and benefit more consumers,”
The ERM Public Relations Manager further indicated that in exercise of its mandate, the ERB monitors the wholesale and retail prices for LP Gas as determined by dealers so as to ensure that there is no exploitative pricing in the market.
She said by doing so, it entails that the dealer determined prices for LP Gas are subject to approval by the regulator prior to being affected.
“Besides the proposed prices the required information includes incurred costs, the commercial invoice of procurement, bill of lading and any other information that may be deemed necessary by the regulator,” explained Ms. Mfuni.
She added “The ERB has therefore, cautioned all entities operating in the LP Gas sector to comply with the guidelines and provide the requested information or face the regulatory sanctions as spelt out in the enforcement manual,”
Ms Mfuni has since advised members of the public to be alert and report any suspicious developments in the LP Gas sector to any of the ERB offices in Lusaka, Kitwe, Livingstone, or Chinsali or call the tool free line which is 8484 as demand for LP Gas increases during the cold season.