ATRACO, the association of public commuter taxis has promised that transport charges will not be increased despite last week’s hike on fuel price, until they have a round table discussion with Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA).
Last week, fuel prices went up by 3.5 percent from Rwf887 per litre to Rwf918, the highest charge the country has ever experienced. This prompted speculation within the general public that commuter taxi operator could consequently increase transport charges.
“We have scheduled a meeting with RURA to discuss the fuel prices and the resolutions will give us a way forward on whether to increase transport charges. But as for now, the fares remain stable,” said Dodo Twahirwa.
Twahirwa said the rise in fuel prices has led to a significant drop in the profits margins of public transport operators.
According to Twahirwa, the private transport companies have sent a proposal to the regulators requesting the increment in the fares but they have not received the feed back for both the scheduled meeting and their request.
According to statistics, filling stations around town have added Rwf31 on every litre of diesel and petrol which was triggered by the increase of prices on international market that saw it rise by 4 percent last month.
At the beginning or end of every month, the government meets with petroleum dealers to monitor price structures internationally and reach an agreement on a final local pump price.
It is also predictable that the recent volatility of fuel costs on the local market could as well lead to unstable prices of other consumable, hence a rise in inflation that has been contained in single digits for most of 2010.
Government is trying to workout a strategy that will protect more local pump prices in the future, in case of international hikes.