Eleven companies, representing more than 90% of the petroleum retail trade, attended an emergency meeting called yesterday by Energy Minister, Phillip Paulwell to secure greater reduction in prices for consumers at the gas pumps.
“We are meeting with the retailers because it cannot be right, it cannot be fair that when the prices move up, everybody moves, and when the price falls we are not getting a similar reduction on the price,” Paulwell said.
Some of the companies indicated that they had not passed on the full reduction to the retail trade due to the need to recoup past losses.
They explained that in the past when prices soared, the full cost of the increases was not reflected in prices at the pumps as they had to absorb some of the adjustments in order to remain competitive.
However, the companies unanimously agreed to pass on the benefits of the oil price reduction while others indicated they have been doing so since last week. Other companies said due to the intense scrutiny of yesterday being designated ‘Pump Watch Day’, they were more judicious in ensuring that price reductions were reflected.
The Energy Minister had called for consumers from yesterday's "Pump Watch Day,” to record prices displayed to determine if Wednesday’s three dollar reduction was reflected.
Minister Paulwell emphasised that his greatest tool in the process is moral suasion, but "encouraged the marketing companies to act in the national interest and play their part in giving momentum to the delicate economic growth that is being realised".
"I have no desire to reclaim the power of price controls, but there is always a place for integrity and fair play. In this regard, I must commend those who have been playing fair and in the best interest of the consumer," Paulwell declared.
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