MUSCAT, Dec 16 – More than 40,000 Omanis have so far registered their names on the National Subsidy System (NSS) website to avail of the fuel subsidy. A few hours after the government’s announcement on Thursday, 7,500 people hit the site — www.nss.gov.om. Sulaiman al Jardani, a resident of Sidab fishing hamlet who owns a boat and a car, said it will help him “save a few more rials every month, which can be used for my children’s education”. Dhafir al Balushi, a resident of Muscat, termed it a “boon for citizens”. “It really helps,” said Ahmed, a young citizen from Rustaq. “The fact that it covers the difference if the fuel is priced above 180 baisas per litre is a boost to many,” he said.
The subsidy, being implemented by Oman Fuel Committee comprising Oman Oil Marketing Company, Al Maha Petroleum Products Marketing Company and Shell Oman Marketing Company, is aimed at mitigating consequences of the liberalisation of fuel prices. The subsidy system is applicable to all citizens who meet the criteria set by the government, including being above 18 years of age, owning a vehicle/ boat and earning a monthly income not more than RO 600. The subsidy is only for M91 fuel. Those who meet the criteria can get 200 litres of subsidised fuel every month at 180 baisas per litre. The fuel card utilisation date has been set for January 1, 2018. Many citizens the Observer spoke to were happy with the fuel subsidy decision.