CASE WATCHDOG ACCUSE PETROL COMPANIES OF PROFITEERING FROM PETROL DUTY HIKE

The consumer watchdog here has accused some petrol companies of profiteering, after petrol prices across the island were raised on Tuesday (Feb 25) by up to S$0.25 for a litre of 98-octane grade petrol and as much as S$0.18 for 95-octane grade petrol - a day after it was announced in the Budget statement that petrol duty rates would be increased with immediate effect.

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Noting that some of the petrol prices were raised beyond the levels of the duty hike, Mr Seah Seng Choon, executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), said it was understandable for the petrol companies to increase prices following the levy hike. But he pointed out: “They should not increase more than what the tax requires them to and if they do that, they are profiteering from the situation.”

As of last night, a litre of 98-octane-grade petrol at Shell cost S$2.28 - S$0.25 more than on Monday. Other brands also adjusted their prices, with Caltex, Esso and Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC) charging S$2.25, S$2.23 and S$2.20, respectively. The increment ranged between S$0.17 and S$0.21 for the three brands.

For 95-octane-grade petrol, which is most popular with drivers, Shell raised the price by S$0.18 to S$2.04 per litre. The other three brands raised their prices to S$2.01 or S$2.02 — with the increases ranging between S$0.12 and S$0.16.

“(The) pump price adjustments reflect the increase in petrol duties as announced in the 2015 Budget,” said a spokesperson from Chevron, which owns the Caltex brand. The other brands could not be reached for comment by press time.

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