Proposals to adjust petroleum prices in Iran

It’s been months that the Government and the Parliament are discussing the increase of petroleum prices. The topic, however, sounds very sensitive in Iran. Any increase in fuel prices can lead to further increase in other goods’ prices and therefore authorities prefer to tackle this topic with extra caution.

One of the proposals, the Parliament is preparing is to assign one liter of petroleum per day to each resident at a subsidized price of 10,000 rials, i.e. 10 US dollar cents. Those who do not consume their quota, could sell their petroleum at a higher price to others. Currently the price of petroleum to be delivered in Persian Gulf is 40 US dollar cents. While it reaches the consumers in Iran at a much lower price.

The new proposal has been heavily criticized. Donyaye Eghtesad writes that the current consumption of petroleum is 80 to 100 million liters per day. This amount of petroleum is currently sold at a subsidized price. Assigning a-liter-a-day to the nation means that the government must continue providing the same amount at subsidized price and therefore it does not improve the income for the government.

Due to low price of fuel in Iran, the consumption ranks among highest’s in the world. Daily consumption of petroleum and gasoil in Iran reaches 180 million liters. This figure in Turkey is about 100 million liters per day.

The government is worried that increase in petroleum prices would lead to more national frustration, particularly in a period of economic turmoil.