Qatar to Scrap Fuel Subsidies in May

Qatar to Scrap Fuel Subsidies in MayQatar to Scrap Fuel Subsidies in May

Qatar will scrap gasoline and diesel subsidies next month, as the world’s richest nation per capita is set to plunge into deficit this year after more than a decade of budget surpluses. The world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas is in the second year of a $200 billion infrastructure upgrade to help it host soccer’s 2022 World Cup. The decision to link transportation fuel to international prices follows a Jan. 30% increase in local gasoline prices for the lowest available grade, Bloomberg reported. Ending subsidies aims to reduce wasteful consumption, the official Qatar News Agency reported on Tuesday, citing comments by Sheikh Mishaal bin Jabor Al Thani, who heads a committee studying domestic gasoline and diesel prices. Unlike some of its oil-rich neighbors that have cut spending, Qatar will increase outlays to 35.1% of GDP this year compared with 33.1% in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund. As part of belt-tightening plans, the UAE eliminated fuel subsidies last year, while Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain reduced support.