Upper limits on fuel oil helped save TL 420 million
by Uğur Becerikli
ISTANBULApr 22, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Uğur Becerikli
Apr 22, 2015 12:00 am
The fuel oil maximum pricing application that the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (BDDK) introduced on Feb. 19 has benefited consumers who escaped paying around TL 420 million ($156 million) for fuel oil since then. Thus, assertions that this was practiced with election concerns in mind would appear to be wrong. With the EPDK's decision, the margin that is added to the ex-refinery price of gasoline and diesel oil is determined as TL 0.34 and TL 0.37 per liter, respectively. Even though this decision failed to satisfy the fuel oil sector, a TL 0.09-0.10 discount in the pump price of fuel oil was welcomed by the public. EPDK Chairman Mustafa Yılmaz said that the practice ended on April 20, refuting assertions that the decision was made due to election concerns. Yılmaz said that criticism that fuel oil prices are kept low ahead of elections was being made "on purpose." He added that if they really had concerns about the elections, they "would have taken such a decision at a later time, as there are almost two months to go before the elections." "We do not approach the matter in a populist fashion," Yılmaz said, saying that they steered the market by launching a maximum pricing application because of deviation from competition and price discrimination. "As of today, we have switched to a free market. Again, distribution companies will set prices. I believe we have achieved the objective in maximum pricing," he added. As soon as the application time of the EPDK's decision ended, gasoline and diesel oil prices increased. Stating that they continue to monitor prices in the market, Yılmaz said that this supervision is necessary. "We will closely monitor (distribution companies) if they do not abide by the legislation," he added. Bendevi Palandöken, chairman of the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen, said that the maximum pricing application in fuel oil should be re-introduced because the practice controls fuel oil prices and consumers save millions of lira this way. Palandöken also said that the number of fuel oil dealers should be limited, since fuel oil prices have seen three hikes in a week.