Pilot Program to Scrap Fuel Cards

Pilot Program to Scrap Fuel CardsPilot Program to Scrap Fuel Cards

Iran's electronic fuel card system will be scrapped within the next few days in case the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company approves a pilot 10-day program to stop using the smart fuel cards, the head of Iran Gas Station Owners Associations said on Monday.

"A majority of car owners use station owners' cards instead of their own smart cards to fill their vehicle, which poses serious problems to gas stations," Nasser Raeisifard was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

According to Raeisifard, car owners' lack of interest in using their own cards has not only imposed financial burden on gas station owners, but has also led to other restrictions as each card has been designed for use in 250 transactions daily.

"Subsequently, the card and the pump nozzle will be locked for the rest of the day, inflicting more losses on gas station owners," he said.

Pointing to the last days of the year when gasoline consumption normally registers a dramatic rise due to the Iranian Year trips, he noted that as of March 20, 2016, people will use cards to get their cars filled up nor waste a lot of time in queues.

The official believes that under the current circumstances, financial corruption will be eliminated by discarding the fuel card.

Raeisifard said that with regard to the diesel price difference between Iran and neighboring states, diesel will still be offered with fuel cards and no plans have been devised to scrap these yet.

The distribution of gasoline with fuel cards was started eight years ago with the aim of achieving three main goals: curbing consumption, adjusting prices and cutting down fuel smuggling.

Most experts opine that under the current circumstances, maintaining the present system of gasoline distribution will yield no new result, since prices are unified and there is no gasoline subsidy.

During the eight years of the plan's implementation, gasoline price rose by 10,000 rials (around 28 cents) from 800 rials (2 cents) per liter, which shows the realization of another goal of subsidized gasoline distribution, which is adjustment of prices.