Take a (price) hike! Bahrain to double diesel prices by 2017
Bahrain announced Tuesday that it will "gradually raise" its national diesel fuel selling price to "reduce [the country's] heavy subsidy burden," according to Reuters.
The gradual raise will make the diesel selling price almost double by 2017, said a source from the government's National Oil and Gas Authority.
The price is set to increase from 20 fils to 120 fils ($0.32) per liter by next Jan. 15. The price will then increase 140 fils by January 2015, 160 fils by January 2016, and 180 fils by January 2017.
Bahrain has emphasized that diesel prices will still be cheaper than in neighboring countries even with the price hikes.
Bahraini fisherman will be exempted from the new increases as well, according to the report.
The Gulf country has previously spent extensive amounts of government money to fund fuel subsidies for its citizens, but increasingly difficult financial conditions has transformed the subsidies into an economic "burden." The International Monetary Fund has even warned Bahraini officials that continuing such subsidization in its current form is economically unsustainable and could increase the country's debt dramatically.
According to the Oil and Gas Authority, the subsidies' allocation in the national budget increased 93 percent between 2007 to 2012.
The report did not indicate how much money the government would save through the diesel price hike initiative.