MPs to Submit Plan on Petrol Rationing Postponement

TEHRAN -- The head of Energy Committee of Majlis (Iran’s parliament) said here Wednesday that 100 lawmakers had signed a double-urgency plan on postponement of gasoline rationing.

Kamal Daneshyar talking to PIN on the sidelines of Majlis open session added the plan had called for a three-month delay in the rationing, giving the government more time to enforce the law.

“Although the cabinet has voiced its readiness to start rationing gasoline as of June 5, the promise will be most likely unfulfilled,” he predicted.

The MP said the plan would be discussed in the Islamic Consultative Assembly next Saturday.

On May 11, the Energy Committee also proposed for a three-month delay in rationing gasoline.

“Under current conditions, it is not possible to enforce the law and the government surely needs three-month time more to put the plan into action,” Seyed Emad Hosseini, a committee member, told PIN.

“According to the report of security authorities and officials the Ministry of Petroleum, necessary arrangements have not yet been made and if the law takes effect, people will face great problems,” he added.

The lawmaker criticized the government for failing to define the gasoline quota and price of extra petrol by April 21.

The country is still grappling with mixed views on the project.

The Energy Committee has mounted an overt opposition to the state plan to ration gasoline, arguing that “it would entail negative consequences”.

“The plan, aimed at reducing the lavish subsidies that keep petrol prices low, should be put off as the technology to enforce the rationing is not ready,” Daneshyar had already said.

“Based on the studies of our committee the ground is not ready to implement the rationing plan, so we have to give another chance to the government,” he added.

Gasoline price in Iran went from 800 rials (8.6 cents) per liter to 1,000 rials (10.8 cents) on May 22 and has been supplied only with smart card.

Interior and petroleum ministries in a joint statement announced the new conditions of gasoline supply.

Petrol is supplied only with smart card, read the statement.

“The system is matchless as the volume of consumed gasoline is registered in the remotest areas of the country,” Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said.

Haddad-Adel expressed hope the government would remove problems on distribution of smart cards and would start rationing petrol on June 6.

He called on people to economize the consumption of petrol and to cooperate with the government, arguing that the plan would greatly benefit the country.

“Billions of dollars was given as state subsidy for petrol in the past year that never benefited the country,” regretted the speaker, reiterating the cabinet, thanks to people’s support and economization, could use the huge sum for promotion of social justice and development of the country.

Haddad-Adel called for dissemination of information by the media about the advantages of the gasoline rationing plan.

The managing director of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Co. (NIORDC) Tuesday predicted that the country’s daily gasoline consumption would fall to 60-62 million liters from current 80 million liters when the rationing plan was enforced.
Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh, also the deputy petroleum minister, added the rationing plan was finalized in the cabinet and petrol quotas would be announced soon.

Fuel smart cards would be issued for all public transports under direct supervision of Interior Ministry, said the official, adding all gasoline-fueled vehicles’ need would be met.

There were 8.3 million cars in the country, out of which 2.3 million belonged to the public service, 150 thousand to the government, and the rest were personal automobiles, he said.

Petrol quota for the public service would be higher than their average daily use, he added.

The government and Majlis were determined to put the gasoline rationing plan into action, said a member of Energy Committee of Majlis last Wednesday.

Mohammad Qomi told PIN the government enforced the law on smart card use at due time, May 22, and it had to start rationing petrol within the next few days.

“We have to help the government enforce all ratifications and let the rationing law be put into practice without any trouble,” said the lawmaker.

He expressed hope the government would define the gasoline quota and price by June 5.

Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Seyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh announced that the cabinet would determine the petrol quota for cars and taxicabs on June 7.

The minister added petrol was supplied in all filling stations with smart card.

He expressed hope all smart cards would be distributed by June 7 and the rationing would take effect at that date.

Iran’s Minister of Interior Hojjatoleslam Mostafa Pourmohammadi said petrol rationing would start from early June on the basis of quota the cabinet would announce within days.

The rationing would take affect at the time, he told reporters.

Asked about the reason behind the increase of petrol to 1,000 rials (10.8 cents) per liter ahead of rationing, he said the price had been determined for a liter of rationed gasoline, however Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel urged the cabinet to enforce the new rate as of May 22 according to Majlis ratification, arguing that rationing and price were totally separate issues.

Petrol quota would be announced twice a year, said the top official, adding, “For the current year, two quotas have been determined for every five months.”


News Code 105989

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