Over the weekend we told you of the gas prices at the pump taking an increase at midnight on Sunday. It is an announcement that has many questioning the reasons behind the raise considering that world prices are at an all-time low. An explanation was forthcoming from the Government of Belize today, via a press release from the Ministry of Finance. According to the release, the import duties on premium gasoline and on diesel as well went up by sixty five cents per US Gallon while the import duty on regular gasoline saw an increase of fifty seven cents per US Gallon. These increases have come about with the latest shipment of fuel coming into the country. The release reads, in part, quote, “Consequently the new Import Duties applied to these products are as follows: Premium Gasoline – $2.96 per US Gallon; Regular Gasoline – $2.73 per US Gallon and Diesel Oil – $1.92 per US Gallon. The combined effect of this increase and of the Cost, Insurance and Freight Price Changes associated with the December 28th fuel shipment will result in new Pump Prices per gallon (in Belize City) as follows: Premium Gasoline – $9.30 per US Gallon; Regular Gasoline – $8.52 per US Gallon and Diesel Oil – $7.00 per US Gallon. This increase has become necessary as a fiscal consolidation measure to strengthen public finances at the start of the new 2016 calendar year and also to compensate for the decline in revenues linked to the decline in domestic crude oil production. It is anticipated that in the coming weeks the Cost, Insurance and Freight prices of imported fuel products will decline significantly in step with declining world oil prices and that pump prices will stabilize at a point below $9.00 and $8.00 per gallon mark for Premium and Regular Gasolines respectively and below $6.50 per gallon for Diesel Oil.” End of quote.