Jordan says increase of petrol prices ruled out \'\'for the moment\'\'
Amman backed off increasing petrol prices "for the moment", contrary to the government’s announcement in November that Jordanians would have to pay more at petrol pumps in 2001, Jordan's prime minister Ali Abu Ragheb said Sunday.
He justified the government's turnaround by the fact that crude prices had dropped since November, when Jordan's 2001 budget was planned.
"We import our oil from Iraq at preferential rates, but these rates still follow market prices", Abu Ragheb explained.
He added his government had "taken the Jordanians' living conditions into account" but added this new measure was still "subject o the world market".
Jordan's opposition had warned against the "catastrophic social consequences" for the Jordanians if they had to pay more at the petrol pumps.
In November, Abu Ragheb announced he intended to hike petrol prices to help the government make up for a JD180 million (around $253 million) shortfall in the 2001 budget. – (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)