Sunday 2 April 2023

Panama extends, again, until April, the freezing of fuel prices

The Government of Panama made official on July 18 the freezing of fuel prices at $3.25 a gallon amid a wave of protests against the high cost of living.

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Q24N (EFE) The Government of Panama reported on Tuesday that it extended until next April 1 the fuel subsidy in force since last July 18, for which the (U.S.) gallon of 91 and 95 octane gasoline and diesel sells for $3.25.

This is the third extension of the validity of the subsidy, which initially expired on October 18, 2022, in accordance with Cabinet Resolution 80 that gave life to the measure, but was first extended until January 15 and then until this today, February 15.

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“While fuel costs worldwide are very high, Panama, with a rate of $3.25 per gallon, has one of the cheapest fuel prices in the world,” said an official statement.

With this decision, the Government “seeks to continue promoting economic growth in sectors such as agriculture, livestock, manufacturing, fishing, construction, commerce, industry, tourism, among others, in addition to job creation, so that the country advances and guarantees that inflation in Panama remains among the lowest in the world”.

The inflation rate closed in 2022 at 2.9%, which brought the year-on-year variation to 2.1%, according to official statistics, with the food and non-alcoholic beverages group leading the rise in prices with a variation 5.2% year-on-year.

The measure to extend the fuel subsidy “for an additional 44 days” represents “a great effort and a fiscal sacrifice in order to alleviate the high costs of products and services to the general population, as well as relief for collective transportation, selective, collegiate and cargo, “said the Executive of President Laurentino Cortizo.

Last October, the Panamanian Government approved a state contribution of up to US$320 million dollars to sustain the fuel subsidy until January 15, 2023.

The official information released this Tuesday does not specify the cost of the extension until next April 1 of the fuel subsidy.

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Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

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