Prime Minister Philip Davis said he has asked members of the Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association to give the government another two weeks to address their challenges.
“The retailers do have serious issues in the concerning their survivability in the context of what’s happening worldwide,” Davis told reporters at the Office of the Prime Minister this morning.
“A lot of the challenges that they face, I’m sympathetic to and I understand their need to survive. I’ve asked them to give us another two weeks to assess the situation and see how best we could help them.
The BPA has repeatedly asked the government for a change in the margin, which dictates the level of profits they earn.
“The challenge is we have is how we prevent further burden on the traveling public and we need to see how we could delicately balance bringing relief to them, and at the same time not overly burdening the consumers.”
Davis and senior government officials met with some of the retailers yesterday. He said the meeting was cordial.
“I know sometimes frustrations does guide some people’s tongue, but I can say that the meeting that we had for several hours yesterday was fruitful and we think that we’ll be able to arrive at a solution that serves the common good of all.”
He said the government is considering multiple options, including changing the margins.
The meeting came a day after Vice President of the Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association Vasco Bastian expressed deep disappointment in Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis’ response to the cries of the retailers for a margin adjustment.
Retailers met last week and later told reporters they had agreed on a course of action to take to get the government’s attention and to reverse the losses they have been suffering as a result of the inflexible margin and the rising cost of doing business.