“This year, the purchase of imported gasoline should be planned”: Petro

Last Friday, the Minister of Mines, Irene Vélez, confirmed a 600 pesos increase in the price of a gallon of regular gasoline for this month of June, which will take effect this Saturday, June 3.

For example, the gallon went from an average price of $11,767 in May to $12,367 in June. In the case of Barranquilla, it went from $11,847 to $12,444, which is an increase of $597.

Given the inconvenience this government measure causes to the citizens affected by it, President Gustavo Petro defended this decision on Sunday and argued the reasons why he considers it necessary.

In this sense, Petro reminded that the gradual increase in the price of gasoline is due to the policy of reducing the value of the fuel subsidy in Colombia in order to reduce the shortfall of the Fuel Price Stabilization Fund (FEPC).

“Why does gasoline increase every month? To prevent the very poorest from paying the petrol subsidy through the budget to those who have their own car. We have not increased diesel to avoid further upward pressure on food prices. These are usually transported in trucks that use that fuel,” he wrote.

The president specified that the gradual increase will be carried out “until internal prices coincide with imported prices, the increase in the deficit stops and the debt can be paid in the following months, gradually reducing the deficit.”

He added that the deficit could “exceed 50 billion pesos because in the second half of 2022 Colombia’s refining capacity declined while international prices of oil and gasoline rose. Because the purchase of imported gasoline was never planned and at the highest international prices.

Therefore, he announced that this year should be planned the purchase of imported gasoline “and take advantage of the fact that its price falls with oil. So this year, the deficit will stop growing when the domestic price reaches the international price.”

He acknowledged that this general measure disturbs “especially the middle class” and confirmed that the government is looking for “formulas to make it progressive”.

“We ask car owners for their solidarity to end a very bad policy that was imposed last year with consequences that we are mitigating. Once we reach the international price, with a small surplus to pay the debt generated, we will float gasoline prices with international prices, which look set to fall at the end of the year and the following months. The international average price at which we import gasoline should be public data,” he concludes.

Source: El heraldo