A NewzwireLive article has claimed that the fuel crisis has increased revenue volumes for the government. It notes that when the fuel price was increased by 150% in January, about 70% of the new price was going to the government in the form of taxes and levies.
Although it is giving oil firms forex for fuel imports at a huge discount because it has maintained the 1:1 rate for the sector, government is raking enormous amounts from fuel sales.
This is borne out by official statistics which show that excise duty, to which fuel contributes more than 80%, was by far the single biggest contributor to revenue collection in the first quarter of 2019, exceeding value added tax on local sales.
Excise duty was $565 million in the first three months, as total tax revenue reached $2.1 billion, exceeding the target by 42%. Duty on fuel alone accounted for about a quarter of government revenues in the first quarter.
The article further asserts that the increased revenues are the only reason why the government has not acted “decisively” as it promised, to address the fuel crisis. The government could have felt compelled by mass protests which erupted as a result of the increase in fuel prices.