Jordan's government is considering a hike in the price of some petrol products in order to fund the desert kingdom's municipalities, Energy Minister Mohammad Batayneh said Sunday.
"The government is actually studying an increase in prices for certain petrol derivatives," he told AFP, without naming which ones.
He cautioned any price hike would be "light, in order to take into consideration the living conditions of Jordaians with limited incomes." He cited the need for a price hike due to inflation in oil prices worldwide.
The Jordanian daily Al-Rai reported that the additional revenue would be allocated to Jordan's municipalities, which face a budget deficit of 70 million dinars ($100 million).
Batayneh did not reveal any date for the measure. The minister added that fuel prices remain lower in Jordan than "in neighbouring countries, or even in oil producing countries."
Jordan imports all its oil from Iraq, amounting to some five million tonnes annually. Half of the figure is purchased at a bargain price, while the rest is delivered free of charge.
Jordan faces a budget deficit of $253 million for 2001. The government had announced plans to raise fuel prices at the end of 2000 before suspending the move "temporarily." — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)