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Fuel price hike troubles Fijians

(Xinhua)

13:33, April 15, 2012

SUVA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Fijian Minister for Trade and Commerce Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has urged Fijians to reduce reliance on fuel as the country braces forth one of the biggest fuel price hike from Monday, local website Fijivillage reported Sunday.

According to the report, the prices of motor spirit will be increased by 13 cents per liter from 2.48 to 2.61 Fiji dollars (1. 42-1.5 US dollars), premix goes up by 13 cents from 2.40 to 2.53 Fiji dollars (1.38-1.45 US dollars), kerosene by 2 cents from 1.84 to 1.86 Fiji dollars (1.06-1.07 US dollars) and diesel goes up by 6 cents from 2.25 to 2.31 Fiji dollars (1.29-1.33 US dollars).

The government, the Commerce Commission, representatives of oil companies and the Fuel Retailers Association were present at the announcement of the new rate that will again hurt the poorer communities in the island nation

Sayed-Khaiyum was quoted as blaming the global market as the government had nothing to do with the increases, saying the increase is beyond Fijian control as Fiji is price takers when it comes to fuel.

He encouraged people to cut down on unnecessary usage of energy in order to survive rising costs of commodities like fuel.

A Suva woman Akisi Bili said she was frustrated with the rising costs of groceries fuel and services in Fiji over the last couple of years and the new increase meant Fijians needed to learn to save.

The mother of three said all her savings were almost depleted because education, stationary and everything was costly.

Fiji Taxi Association (FTA) President Vincent Singh on Sunday described the announcement of an increase in fuel price as swift, saying they would just have to accept the rising costs.

"Fuel price increases are inevitable and we understand that it is a world problem which we accept just as the government has stated and we cannot complain as taxi fares have already increased, " he said.

The FTA has more than 7,000 members and remains a strong union in Fiji.

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