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Government looking into reducing the price of gas at the pumps

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By Monique Washington

The gas price in the Federation, which is now at $18.01 per gallon, may soon be reduced, according to Premier of Nevis Mark Brantley.

Brantley noted that the Federal cabinet is currently in discussions as it relates to a price reduction at the pumps.

Early last month, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley read the Budgetary Proposals and Financial Statement, which speaks to the Capping of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on gasoline and diesel, in an effort to shield consumers from the full increase of refined petroleum products.

“The gas prices have gone up largely due to the regrettable situation where Russia has invaded Ukraine and has sent the world into turmoil as we are trying to recover from COVID-19,” Brantley said.

“We have been considering various measures. In the makeup of the price of gasoline per gallon, there is a dealer margin, I think it is fixed at 70 cents per gallon, and then there is a federal government levy which is $2.25 per gallon sold,” he said.

He said that during discussions, the cabinet recommended that the Government should “do something” about that $2.25, and “hopefully by doing something, it can bring some relief”.

“What exactly is that something going to be, we are still working on it. That is where we are looking right here. The government can reduce or forego or whatever decision,” he said.

Brantley also pointed out that if gas prices continue to increase, the Nevis Island Administration and the Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) will have to look at increased electricity prices with the increased fuel surcharges which are passed on to customers.

“We ask our people to conserve as much as they can.”

Brantley said that at NEVLEC, an averaging system has been used in determining the fuel surcharge, which is passed on to its customers.

“We have been using an average instead of every time we get a shipment we pass on the cost. We do a six-month average. We have been trying to buffer the impact. But with the increased gas prices, oil prices generally lead to increased electricity and transportation costs,” he pointed out.

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