No Hike in Gasoline Prices

No Hike in Gasoline PricesNo Hike in Gasoline Prices

The government of President Hassan Rouhani has no plans to raise gasoline prices in the current Iranian year that started March 20, the government spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday.

There were mounting speculations in recent weeks that the government will hike gasoline prices, but Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, who is also the head of Iran's Management and Planning Organization, rejected the rumors.

"There are no plans to raise gasoline prices … The government's policy is to curtail inflation and take pressure off the people," the official was quoted as saying by Shana on Saturday.

The latest price change goes back to almost a year, when the government threw overboard subsidized gasoline at a price of 7,000 rials (around 20 cents) in favor of a single price of 30 cents per liter in May.

The government is also in a public feud with the parliament over ditching the electronic fuel card system that was introduced under the tenure of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2007.

With subsidized gasoline removed, the government says fuel cards are effectively useless and should be scrapped. The parliament wants the system to remain in place.

In the latest push to retain the fuel cards, a group of conservative-leaning lawmakers introduced a bill this week that set a ceiling for the consumption of 30-cent-per-liter gasoline and introduced a stepwise rise in prices.

The bill was approved on Tuesday but was surprisingly invalidated hours after it was signed into law.