20 May 2007 - 07:34
  • News Code: 105024

TEHRAN -- Rapporteur of Energy Committee of Majlis (Iran’s parliament), Seyed Abdolmajid Shoja, said here Saturday no certain body or ministry was to blame for mismanagement and delay in implementing fuel smart card plan.

“The cabinet and Majlis are not expected to pass the buck for the delay as both sides are trying to fulfill their duties,” he told PIN, adding the necessary infrastructure has not been yet provided in the country, making it difficult to put the plan into practice.

Representing Dashtestan town in parliament, Shoja said had Majlis not stopped the regular increase of petrol price, the rate would have reached 1,500 rials (16 cents) in 2007, avoiding scores of existing problems.

“According to the fuel consumption bill, petrol will be supplied at its real rate within five years which means it needs to gain 850 rials (9 cents) per annum but the rise in the current year’s price will cause a 1,000 rial (10 cent) yearly growth in the commodity’s rate,” he said.

Although rationing would not start as of due time, authorized bodies deserved appreciation for timely providing and distributing just about all smart cards, said the official.

Shoja said a double-urgency plan on realistic gasoline price would be submitted to the Majlis if gasoline rationing was not implemented at due time.

“If the government fails to enforce the 2007 Budget Law on gasoline by May 22, we will present the new proposal to the Majlis,” underlined the rapporteur.   

The plan signed by 40 lawmakers would urge the government to allot every people 300 thousand rials ($32) per month in compensation for the unsubsidized gasoline, he told reporters on the sidelines of an open session of parliament.

Shoja emphasized that gasoline rationing would not come into effect as of May 22 since the technology to enforce the plan was not yet ready.

Referring to the negative consequences of the initiative the official added, “The cabinet and Majlis need to discuss the issue more seriously.”

Last week, 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.

Another member of Energy Committee 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 , 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.Ahvaz

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.

Majlis (Iran’s parliament) would not allot any subsidy plus 2.5 billion dollars the cabinet requested for imports of gasoline in the current year, a member of Energy Committee of the Islamic Consultative Assembly announced.

Mohsen Yahyavi told PIN the lawmakers voted for allocation of 2.5 billion dollars as gasoline subsidy while studying the 2007 budget bill, adding, “I do not think the MPs agree with allotment of more funds for imports.”

Majlis was determined to organize fuel subsidization, said the official, adding although the government reserved the right to offer a bill, it was duty-bound to put the plan on rationing gasoline into action as of May 22 and therefore the cabinet itself should provide the extra subsidy it needed due to the delay in rationing plan.

Mohammad Khoshchehreh, also an Economic Committee member, said it would take a miracle for the government to enforce gasoline rationing as of 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.



News Code 105024

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