Cabinet to Bring Gas Oil Price Bill before Majlis

TEHRAN – The government planned to bring a comprehensive bill on gas oil price before Majlis (Iran’s parliament), a Management and Planning Organization (MPO) official said Sunday.

Mehdi Rahmati, who is charge of MPO’s infrastructure affairs and delivered speech in the open session of Majlis, called on the lawmakers to give the cabinet an opportunity to offer its bill after holding specialized meetings and conducting expert-level studies.

“The government has yet to study the negative and positive impacts of a change in gas oil price,” said the official, adding the cabinet was convinced that any unscientific decision would cause problems.

According to him, the government plans to present a package of proposals to the specialized commissions and put them to the vote in an open parliamentary session.

Rahmati’s remarks came hours after 103 representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly voted for the government’s bill, agreeing that gas oil price would not increase.

The state bill received the nod from the majority of lawmakers and the commodity would be supplied at the same previous 165 rials (1.7 cents) per liter by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2008).

The MPs agreed to delete the phrase “450 rials (4.8 cents) per liter of gas oil as of May 22” and not ration the energy carrier.

The parliamentarians also voted against other proposals on the supply of gas oil at one of the 250, 300, 350, and 400 rial (2.7, 3.2, 3.7, and 4.3 cents) rates.

Submitting the bill to the Majlis, the cabinet justified that the gas oil hike would increase the inflation rate and transportation costs and reduce the people’s affordability.

GASOLINE RATIONING

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.

Head of Planning and Budget Committee of Majlis said there was no room for concern about the rationing of gasoline as of May 22.

Reza Abdollahi told reporters it was better to sell gasoline at the open market rate, but Majlis had decided to ration the commodity through the smart card system and the MPs defended the approval.

“The government has made the necessary arrangements for supplying the rationed gasoline, including the distribution of fuel smart cards and the project faces no problem,” he added.

Abdollahi said the lawmakers attached great importance to the perfect enforcement of the law on gasoline rationing.

Fuel smart card project would become operational in Iran on May 10, the advisor to deputy minister of petroleum for refining and distribution affairs announced.

Abdolreza Amini told PIN the smart card system had been put into operation in some gas stations since few days ago in order to identify and remove the problems.

The number of smart card-equipped gas stations was growing gradually, said the official.

Amini pointed to massive dissemination of information about the use of smart card, adding the general public would get further information in the coming days.

 

News Code 103956

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