The Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Magna Mudyiwa, said they have requested the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to accommodate liquefied petroleum (LP) gas retailers in the allocation of foreign currency under the forex auction system.
Mudyiwa said that if gas retailers get foreign currency at the auction rate, they will be expected to sell the product in local currency.
This comes as the consumption of gas has skyrocketed owing to intermittent electricity supplies.
Statistics from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) show that in the first quarter of 2021, Zimbabweans used 13 million kg of LP gas up from 11 million kg consumed during the same period last year. Said Mudyiwa:
People are now using gas and we actually urge people to use gas, but the problem that was there was that the majority of the people that were selling gas were not getting foreign currency from the auction system for them to be able to import that gas.
So we have spoken to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) that they (LP gas players) could be accommodated and also get foreign currency at the auction rate.
Once that position is attained, they are expected to sell the gas in local currency, which was the problem that was prevailing.
It is a challenge that we are facing, and together with the RBZ, we are trying to ensure that we bring sanity to that area, especially in the fuel sector so that we find service stations that are solely selling fuel in RTGS.