19 May 2007 - 18:36
  • News Code: 105020
Govt. Needs Time to Supply Petrol at Real Rate

TEHRAN -- A member of Energy Committee of Majlis (Iran’s parliament) here Saturday said the government needed to gradually increase the price of gasoline to its real level.



Nasser Sudani argued that the price of gasoline sold in excess of rationed quota should not exceed 2,000 rials (21 cents) per liter in the first year of enforcement.

Representing the southern city of Ahvaz, the parliamentarian lauded the rationing plan, however, expressed concern about its enforcement, calling on the government to supply the surplus petrol and curb inflation simultaneously.

The cabinet has not yet made decision on the rationing quota for a car and the surplus petrol price, leading to people’s confusion, regretted the lawmaker, warning any delay in the plan’s enforcement could cause a change in the lawmakers’ previous decision.

A double-urgency plan for amending Clause V of note under Article 13 of the current year’s budget bill, which called for considering a one-tier pricing system for gasoline and had been signed by 37 members of parliament, was rejected through voting, getting 108 nays.

The plan called on the government to sell domestically produced gasoline in addition to imported gasoline up to a ceiling of 22,250 billion rials, equivalent of foreign exchange at 1,500 rials (16 cents) per liter.

The lawmakers said lack of the government’s readiness to enter into force a gasoline rationing system as well as people’s concerns and dissatisfaction over the rationing as the main reasons for rejecting the plan.

The plan had noted that since a two-tier price system would be more concerning to people than a single price, double urgencies of the plan should be approved by the MPs.

After voting, the plan was rejected through 108 nays, 66 ayes, and 6 abstentions.

Mohammad Khoshchehreh, another member of Economic Committee, said it would take a miracle for the government to enforce gasoline rationing as of due time (May 22).

He called the timely enforcement of gasoline rationing impractical, adding the cabinet would prove highly efficient if it managed to do the job.

He called on the authorities to see to possible social, economic, political, and security repercussions to pave the way for the amendment of the plan.

Majlis was ready to ratify any bill to ration gasoline but the government was not prepared to allocate subsidies, said a lawmaker.

Hassan Moradi, also a member of the Energy Committee, said the fact that currently the government was not ready to provide any subsidies was keeping such plans on hold.

Moradi added that MPs contend free-market sale of gasoline should be allowed in order to reduce the pressure of rationing, while certain members of the cabinet oppose saying that only state-owned cars should be entitled to using free-market petrol.








News Code 105020

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