By Sisay Sahlu
ADDIS ABEBA – Members of parliament have ratified a bill that would allow the government to establish a petroleum regulatory agency.
The name of the regulatory body will be Petroleum and Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution Regulatory Authority, according to the ratified law.
The body will be responsible for distributing four million metric tons of petroleum products that the country imports annually, according to the chairperson of trade and industry sanding committee. The import amount is valued at three billion dollars.
It will also be responsible for monitoring and regulating the refining, supply, storage, transportation, retail, of petroleum and petroleum products, said Chairperson Getachew Melese.
Getachew told, MPs attending Tuesday’s regular session, that the authority will help control regulate quality and safety standards of the strategic commodity to prevent risks against human health.
Reports say petrol transporters do not have cargo tracking system and the fuel tankers at the gas stations are not automated making them prone to theft and adulteration.
Getachew told MPs: “The government has so far been regulating the sector using an outdated law”.
“This new proclamation will help the state conduct regulating petroleum supply and distribution, and other activities, in a modern way,” he said.
The bill named as petroleum and petroleum products supply and distribution regulatory authority establishment proclamation was first tabled before the house on the first week of April 2019
The legislators on Tuesday ratified the bill that went through several discussions under the auspicious of Trade and Industry Affairs Standing Committee of the parliament.
The soon-to-be established regulatory body will be responsible for the quality and supply of petrol from its origin to end users meet the national standard and specifications.
It will be managed by the director and deputy director and will have its own budget.
The bill has been ratified with all but one majority vote.
With a population of 100 million, Ethiopia has only 800 gas stations while neighboring Kenya with 40 million people has over 2000 gas stations.