Mixed Reactions to Gov't Fuel Decision

Mixed Reactions to Gov't Fuel Decision Mixed Reactions to Gov't Fuel Decision

Pursuant to the scrapping of gasoline quotas and offering fuel at a single price of 10,000 rials (30 cents) for motorists at the weekend, observers and analysts voiced their opinions, local media reported,.

Advocates of ending the policy of subsidized gasoline, including Ali Maziki, a board member of Planning and Management Organization (MPO), are of the opinion that multiple prices were never deemed as an advantage and are no more viable. For example, car owners would use their quota even if they did not need it; as a result, unified prices should  be able to help curb consumption.

Highlighting the fact that domestically-produced and distributed gasoline is 25 percent cheaper than the Persian Gulf free-on-board (FOB) prices of imported gasoline; the analyst opines that the new rate "partially makes up for the discrepancy in the subsidized and real prices, the result of which will deter smuggling fuel across borders."

Pointing to the fact that even at a single price of 10,000 rials (30 cents), gasoline is still well below international prices, he reiterated that unlike in other countries "Iranians are not fined for polluting the air."

The specialist hoped that ending fuel rationing would be the commencement of development era as more money will be injected into the national budget and lug the yawning national budget deficit. "If the people are assured that the government will spend the fuel price difference on expanding infrastructure, the move will not provoke a negative response from the masses," ISNA quoted him as saying.

Critics, namely the parliamentarian Masoud Mirkazemi, maintain that adopting such an approach "to tackle the budget deficit is divorced from the economy of resistance" whose aim is to counter and defeat the sanctions.

Underlining the fact that he is not against reforming energy prices, Mirkazemi, a member of the Majlis Energy Committee, reiterated, "The administration should take a second look at its expenses and strive to curb spending instead of consigning the financial burden to the people."

The 'economy of resistance', is a policy proposed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to counter the sanctions and help promote domestic growth.