Panama freezes fuel prices for carriers

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Q24N (EFE) The government of Panama on Friday May 27 approved the stabilization or freezing of the price per gallon of fuel for the transport sector at US$3.95, a measure that will be in effect for three months from June 3 .

Stabilizing or freezing fuel prices is a measure that carriers have lobbied for through protests. PhotoEFE

The measure approved by decree, which aims to mitigate the socio-economic impact caused by increases in fuel prices, ensures a “solidarity price” for public land passenger transport, and introduces a fuel check or bonus for the commercial land fleet and registered agricultural machinery.

The decree, issued by the Ministry of Government, fixes the price of 91 and 95 octane gasoline and low sulfur diesel for public passenger transport (buses, taxis, school buses, tourist services, etc.) at $3.95 per gallon (3.78 liters). .

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It also provides that from June 10, owners of cars with commercial registration, and registered wheeled agricultural machinery, will receive a monthly fuel consumable digital bonus as a “rescue measure”, the amount of which will be established by the Traffic Authority and Ground Transport (ATTT).

The fuel bonus expires the month in which it is credited, it is “non-transferable, it is not negotiable and its balance is not cumulative for the following months”, indicates a press release from the Panamanian presidency.

It also provides that when the maximum sale price exceeds the “solidarity price”, the State will cover the difference or grant a digital fuel voucher to the beneficiaries defined in the decree.

The measure is adopted considering that Panama is an importing country of petroleum products and subject to the “volatility of prices determined by international markets”, and will be for a “period of three months and charged to the general budget of the State” .

The service stations will present the difference between the amount invoiced and the amount actually invoiced to the beneficiaries, as a credit to the fuel import-distribution companies for their fuel orders, which will present it for collection before the ATTT.

The Council of Ministers (Ministers) authorized the Ministry of Economy to carry out the budgetary and financial actions necessary for the measure which represents a State contribution of up to 100 million dollars, “funds that will be transferred each month” at the ATTT.

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Stabilizing or freezing the price of fuel is a measure that carriers have lobbied for through protests and blockades of public roads demanding its approval.

In Panama, gasoline and diesel, for the first time in almost a decade, are selling above one dollar per liter ($3.78 per gallon), a situation attributed to the international situation resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The plenary session of the National Assembly (Parliament), by an official majority, approved on April 28, during the third and final debate, Bill 808 which creates the Trust for the compensation, reduction and stabilization of pollution. increase in product prices. oil derivatives, renouncing the idea of ​​suspending the collection of the fuel tax, an initiative rejected by the executive.

The approved bill must be signed by the country’s president, Laurentino Cortizo, for it to enter into force.

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