6 May 2007 - 10:47
  • News Code: 103914
MP Says Gasoline Rationing Plan May Be Delayed

TEHRAN -- A senior lawmaker has said the implementation of the petrol rationing plan is likely to be delayed for around four months.

Chairman of the Energy Commission of Iran"s Majlis, Kamal Daneshyar said: "Around 80% of the smart cards have already been distributed, but numerous problems have been reported in gas filling stations."

"Given such problems, the rationing plan needs to be postponed until late September this year and as such, the government should get the permission for import of some USD 2b of petrol from Majlis", he said in an Isna report.

"The government is willing to get the needed approval for postponement of the plan from Majlis", he added, noting that MPs are likely to vote for the move.

The Majlis had earlier approved a much-debated petrol rationing mechanism which comprises a basic rate increase for a limited quota and a further increase for exceeding volumes.

The plan was scheduled to take effect from late coming June.

Another member of parliament however is convinced that most of lawmakers vote for the recent approval on gasoline and will reject other proposals.

Last March, the Majlis approved that the government could sell rationed gasoline at 1,000 rials (less than 11 cents) per liter through smart cards. The lawmakers also authorized the cabinet to determine the price of gasoline sold in excess of the rationed quota.

The government is obliged to sell the domestically produced gasoline and imported gasoline at the subsidy level of 22.25 trillion rials (2.4 billion dollars) on rationing scheme with priority given to gasoline smart card at the price of 1,000 rials per liter.

Member of Planning and Budget Committee Morteza Tamaddon told PIN the cabinet was determined to submit a bill to Majlis in a bid to make a change in gasoline price, but the government abandoned the idea after exchanging views with parliamentarians.

Minister of Petroleum Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh had expressed the cabinet’s willingness to supply gasoline at the rationing system at the current 800 rial (8.6 cent) rate per liter.

“The government puts the decisions of the Majlis into action as lawmakers have the final say,” said Vaziri-Hamaneh, adding, “We are ready to ration gasoline at due time, May 22.”

Representing Shahr-e Kord in Majlis, Tamaddon said the gasoline file had been closed and the MPs opposing the approval had better offer no proposals two weeks before the enforcement of the law.

The government spent almost four billion dollars on gasoline imports during March 2006-January 2007, recording a significant rise compared to the same period the in its preceding year.

A report issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance indicated that petrol import costs rose by 187 percent in the 10-month period, when 35.8 trillion rials ($3.9 billion) were spent on gasoline imports, up from 12.4 trillion rials spent during the same period the year before.

 

News Code 103914

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