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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Subsidy on fuel prices a big relief

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Thanks to the Royal Directives, citizens are relieved over the fuel prices as they were feeling the pinch of sharp fluctuations in the price. The fuel prices, as per the directive, would be fixed as per the October 2021 level as the maximum.


Owing to the record rise, the government paid the difference. Government subsidies on petroleum products increased in the first quarter of this year to RO 67.3 million, compared to RO 7.6 million in the same period last year, registering an increase of 785 per cent, Oman News Agency announced.


In a cabinet meeting, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik directed to fix vehicle fuel prices according to the average of October 2021 as a maximum so that the government bears the differences resulting from any increase in oil prices until the end of 2022. The fixed fuel price is 229 baisa per litre for 91 fuel, 239 baisa per litre for 95 fuel, and 258 baisa per litre for diesel.


His Majesty also approved, during a meeting with the Main Committee of the National Programme for Fiscal Balance (Tawazun)in April of 2021, a package of social protection initiatives, including an increase in the amount of subsidised fuel and consumed by national support card holders from 200 litres to 400 litres per month, and the government to bear the cost of VAT for that quantity so that it remains at the same subsidised price of 180 baisa per litre.


The fuel subsidy applies to all Omani citizens who meet the criteria set by the government. The criteria include Omani citizens who are over 18 years of age, own a vehicle or boat, and whose total monthly income does not exceed RO 950. The fuel subsidy is only for 91 fuel type. It applies to vehicles (general population) and boats (fishermen only). It also applies when the M91 fuel price is 180 Bz or higher as per the rate set by the government on a monthly basis.


The fuel subsidy is used through the fuel subsidy card that was allocated by the fuel marketing company, pre-selected by the applicant. The total number of people registered in the system who benefit from fuel and electricity subsidies provided by the government reached 592,725 people.


In the current year's budget, the government allocated 35 million Omani riyals to subsidise petroleum products. However, the rise in oil prices above the level of $100 per barrel, at a time when the government fixed vehicle fuel prices, raised the volume of oil product subsidies. The average price of oil in the current year's budget was estimated at 50 US dollars per barrel.


@zainabalnasseri


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