Monday, 17 November 2008 9:43 AM

Fuel Stations Close Throughout Honiara

Fuel refilling stations in Honiara have closed today following what they say was government's non-reply to a submission made by the Chamber of Commerce to increase profits of retail fuel providers.

Fuel retailers are currently making a 50 cent profit on each litre of fuel sold to consumers.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce had made a submission to the government's price control unit asking for a twenty per cent increase in profits allowed for one litre of fuel sold.

This pushes from a 50 cent profit to two dollar profit per litre of fuel sold.

The government however has not replied to the Chamber by the deadline arranged.

Motorists were today stunned that fuel retailers have actually gone through with their threat to close if they did not receive a reply.

Managing Director of Didao Fuel Station, Toata Molea says most of the refilling stations will close "in protest to the government's non-reply and non-commitment."

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of Commerce, Jeffery Wickham says he is aware of the situation but not through official channels.

Mr Wickham says to push up retail fuel provider's profit from 50 cents to two dollars will not happen overnight.

He says it is not an easy process because assessments have to be made and cabinet has to approve the profit increase before it is implemented.

He says the issue is very sensitive and the government will have to take this seriously.


SOURCE: With Solomon Islands Broadcasting Cooperation (SIBC)

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