Iran introduces gasoline rationing

July 3, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN (PIN) – Iran introduced gasoline rationing from Wednesday.

“From midnight tonight gasoline will be rationed,” state television said late Tuesday, quoting a statement from the Petroleum Ministry. Imports are a big burden on state coffers because all fuel, whether imported or domestically produced, is sold at heavily subsidized prices. Even after this year’s 25 percent price hike, fuel still sells at just 1,000 rials (11 cents) a liter, some of the cheapest in the world. The rationing aims to wean the No. 2 OPEC crude producer off imports as it consumes 75 million or more liters a day, a figure that has been rising at 10 percent a year, pushing up import needs. Minister of Petroleum Seyyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh, on a television program, said private cars would get 100 liters of gasoline per month and drivers would be able to buy their daily allocation up to four months in advance. The four-month period could be extended to six months, said the minister, adding the drivers having gasoline for the four or six months could manage their consumption according to their choices. “Official taxis, which only consume gasoline, will get 800 liters per month while other drivers who work as part-time taxis will get 600 liters per month and state-owned cars will get 300 liters per month,” state television said. Majlis (parliament) and government have yet to debate whether any rationing plan allows drivers to buy extra fuel at market prices. Majlis here Wednesday held an unofficial session behind closed doors to discuss mechanisms for implementation of petrol rationing. The session was attended by Vaziri-Hamaneh and Interior Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi. Chaired by First Vice Speaker Mohammadreza Bahonar, the session was held upon request made by a number of MPs, IRNA reported