World Economy

Most Omanis Affected by Higher Fuel Prices

Most Omanis Affected by Higher Fuel PricesMost Omanis Affected by Higher Fuel Prices

The vast majority of Omanis surveyed have said that the increase in fuel prices has had an effect on them, and almost half say it has had a significant effect on them and their families, the National Center for Statistics and Information revealed late Tuesday.

It said, 45% of Omanis commented in June that the rise in fuel prices has had a significant effect on them, compared to 24% in May, Arabian Business reported.

The figures showed that 38% of Omanis have been slightly affected by the increase, while 17% said they have not been affected at all, according to the NCSI.

Moreover, 44% of Omanis have changed, or they are thinking of changing, the grade of fuel they purchase at the pumps.

Furthermore, 34% of Omanis believe that altering the fuel prices has a negative impact on the country’s economy.

The NCSI explained that the level of satisfaction of the current fuel prices has significantly dropped from 39% last March to 22% in June.

The Omani cabinet decided last year to review fuel prices in line with the global prices, which was implemented by mid of January this year. A committee has been formed to review, monitor and fix the prices every month for petroleum products.

The fuel prices have witnessed a staggering 50% hike in June and July compared to January, when the fuel prices were reviewed.

 Seeking Help

Ahmed Al Nasri, an Omani working in the private sector, said that the hike in the fuel prices has affected him and his family as he spends extra 20 rials (almost $52) on fuel every month.

He hopes that the Omani government will allocate allowance for Omanis with low income to help them make ends meet as many are frustrated with the hike in fuel prices.

Oman is following in the footsteps of all other Persian Gulf Arab states, which have revised fuel prices lately amid a slump in oil prices.

Subsidies on petroleum products, including petrol and diesel, are estimated to have cost Oman 900 million riyals ($2.3 billion) in 2015, compared to 840 million riyals in 2014.

The new budget projects 3.3 billion Omani riyals ($8.57 billion) in deficit spending for 2016, which the government says it will try to reduce by improving the non-oil revenues as well as cutting expenditure. Oman posted a budget deficit of 4.5 billion riyals in 2015, as revenues declined by more than 50%.

Oman has posted a deficit of 1.6 billion riyals in the first three month of 2016, due to the slide in oil prices, according to the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council. The council recommended reviewing non-oil revenues as well as rationalizing expenditure.