Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Petrojam pricing policy ignores oil trends

Published:Tuesday | May 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Jamaica never ceases to amaze me. We are a capitalist country. However, businesses in Jamaica expect customers to subsidise their operations instead of paying the true value for services.

Global crude prices have nearly halved since the end of 2014, and Jamaica only got a small taste of these savings. The rapid price rise currently seems reminiscent of last year's gas prices, when oil was above US$100.

The pricing mechanism used by Petrojam is very opaque, even with the recent conference that was supposed to enlighten the public.

I challenge readers to search the Internet for US Gulf Coast Reference Prices. It does not exist! Yet, Petrojam and, by extension, the Government continue to hammer it down our throats.

The price increases that are now being displayed at gas stations across the island are not in line with the small rise in the global crude and gas prices. I know we're not a producer of oil, but movements follow a logical mathematical trajectory. Jamaica's own price increases have taken us to square one. Jamaica practises what I'd like to term klepto-capitalism.

Petrojam is a publicly owned company. Hence, the taxpayers of this country have a right to know certain information such as sources of our oil imports, approximate prices paid for imports, and the overall financial health of the institution. If this information isn't forthcoming, I believe we'll continue paying these ridiculous prices.