Yemen hikes diesel prices by 70 percent
Yemen's government on Thursday, July 26, hiked the price of diesel fuel by 70 percent to an all-time high of 17 rials (10 cents) a liter to reap extra revenues for public spending, an official said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank had given Yemen until August 5 to implement the long-delayed increase, a planning ministry official told AFP.
The move could provide government coffers with an extra 3.4 billion rials ($20.4 million) a month earmarked for the health sector and other public spending, he said.
Periodic increases in fuel and food prices are part of Yemen's World Bank-backed reform program aimed at revitalizing the economy of one of the poorest nations on earth. Similar measures in June 1998 ignited a wave of protests which left five dead according to the government, and 13 according to the opposition.
Diesel fuel is widely used in this rugged country in the southern Arabian peninsula, and is considered a commodity that will immediately affect food supply prices and travel costs. Yemen produces about 480,000 barrels of oil a day, 160,000 of it for export. — (AFP)
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