Ethiopia announces new increases in fuel prices
ADDIS ABABA - The Ethiopia Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration (MoTRI) has announced a decision to hike gas prices by 16 percent starting Sunday.
The ministry said in a press statement released Saturday evening that the price hike would see gas prices rise from 31.74 Ethiopian Birr (about 62 U.S. cents) per liter to 36.87 Ethiopian Birr per liter.
"One liter of diesel was similarly hiked from 28.98 Ethiopian Birr to 35.43 Ethiopian Birr," the MoTRI statement said.
The Ethiopian government's latest petroleum products price hikes came after four months of price hike pause.
The MoTRI blamed the rising global oil prices for its decision to institute the latest price hikes.
"The Ethiopian government, observing the society's current living conditions, hadn't made (fuel) price increases for four months. However, this decision (fuel price increase freeze) has created a monthly 10-Billion-Ethiopian Birr deficit which otherwise should have been transferred to the consumer, resulting in extreme (financial) pressure on the government," said the MoTRI in the statement, warning it will take legal and administrative measures on those "illegal bodies" who use the price hikes to create man-made shortages as well as hike prices on essential commodities.
According to the latest data released by Ethiopia's Central Statistical Agency, the inflation rate in the country rose to a record high of 36.6 percent in April, up from 34.7 percent in March.