Speaker: Majlis needs time to reform gas price rise plan 

November 17, 2019 - 19:40

TEHRAN – The Iranian parliament speaker announced on Sunday that the Majlis economic committee has been committed to review gas price rise plan in details which of course must be carried out in a calm condition. 

Majlis held a closed door session on gas subsidy reform on Sunday morning. 

“Today, since 8:00 o’clock in the morning there have been a number of arguments over the current developments (surrounding the gas price rise) and subsidies at the closed session of Majlis. Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani participated in the session and briefed the legislators with a report on the current developments.” 

“The Majlis Economic Committee has been ordered to hold meetings with the bazaar regulation staff, the Judiciary panel and Government Ta’azirat Organization in order to settle the people’s problems regarding gas price rise,” Larijani explained. 

Government Ta’azirat Organization is a body tasked to monitor prices and fine those who sell their goods at higher prices.

Larijani further said, as an important step, the government should first directly pay revenues it will gain from rise in gas price to prove that it is resolved to do its promise.

Very late on Thursday, the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) issued a statement to recount details for new prices of gasoline in the country. It was followed by another statement in early Friday by Head of the Management and Planning Organization (MPO) Mohammad Baqer Nobakht who said that the revenues will be allocated to 60 million people in the form of cash subsidy.

According to the new pricing echelon, the subsidized fee of 10,000 rials (almost 8.3 cents) per liter is increased to 15,000 rials (almost 12.5 cents) per liter, a 50% rise, which is offered at a limited rate of 60 liters per month. 

However, the price for non-rationed supply of the gas is still subsidized and below the level of price offered in majority of the neighboring countries. The non-rationed price is set at 30,000 rials (almost 25 cents) per liter and there is no limitation for buying non-rationed fuel.

The statement added that the price for the compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel gas will remain unchanged.

Following the government’s decision to reduce gas subsidy, people in certain cities poured into the streets to protest the decision. However, some vandals and rioters misused the protests to do sabotage acts, attacking banks and destroying public and private property. 

Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri on Saturday gave a stern warning to those who try to disrupt the society’s security, noting that the people will not allow such rancorous elements to derail their economic-based protests against gas price rise. 

“The people will certainly separate their path with a few disruptors who have embarked on blocking roads and attacking the public places. The people surely hate such violent acts,” the prosecutor general said.

“Based on law, such disruptive acts are considered as crime, so the police and judicial bodies are committed to counter those disruptors who embark on damaging public properties and places,” he stressed.

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