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Halkitis says govt not considering gas margin increase

Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis said today that the government is not currently considering raises the margins for petroleum retailers, despite recent action by the dealers.

“The government of The Bahamas is sympathetic to their plight, but at this time, with the conditions as they are, we are not considering any increase in the margins,” he said during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

He said the government supported the petroleum retailers last year by providing them with $6 million in tax rebates. He said $5.5 million of that figure was provided in cash.

“We have made an effort to help ease their burden,” Halkitis continued.

Earlier this week, multiple retailers refused to sell diesel at their stations in a bid to get the government to adjust their margins. 

In a statement today, the Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association said diesel sales have resumed.

However, it warned that further action will come if the government fails to bring resolution to the matter.

“Petroleum Retailers are in a desperate place financially,” the statement said. “The actions taken earlier this week with not selling diesel is an effort to bring this margin issue to conclusion.

“We need the government back at the table to conclude the deal that was presented.

Despite statements made, rest assured the petroleum dealers are united in this cause to obtain an increase in the fuel margins. We are quite aware of the importance of fuels to our customers and equally we are committed to provide that service and such we have restated diesel sales.

“We are hopeful that we will hear from the government today.

“However, failing resolution to this matter we will have no choice but to take further action.”