By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Jan. 25 - Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas, has said people have become more “rational” in using their vehicles following the oil price fluctuations. Speaking to the Observer on the sidelines of an event, Dr Al Rumhy said the low fuel prices and abundant supply had been “taken for granted” earlier. “Now, they are more conscious about fuel consumption, reducing substantially wastage of the precious fuel.” “Rising petrol prices have taught us how to save fuel. It’s good for the environment and helps reduce traffic on the roads,” he said.
According to him, people from the average income groups have begun to reduce fuel consumption, and started making several enquiries — with an eye on the mileage or fuel economy — before they buy a car. Asked about the petrol and diesel prices for February, Dr Al Rumhy said the decision will be taken by a special committee entrusted with the task of fixing the price. He, however, said the price will be in accordance with the international prices.
Petrol stations in Muscat confirmed fuel consumption by employees using fuel cards has gone down by 25 per cent, thanks to the austerity measures adopted by leading companies.
In an effort to cut corners in the corporate budgets, many big firms have decided to either withdraw the fuel cards given to employees or have instructed them to leave official vehicles at the office. Many companies have installed GPRS to monitor if the official vehicles are being used for personal purposes. “During weekends, we used to see many red-plated vehicles line up at the petrol stations, fill up the tank and zip away with families. They would insist on bills for submitting at their office,” said the manager of a busy petrol station in Al Khuwair. “Of late, the number of such vehicles has reduced. Hardly any of them are seen during weekends, causing a 25-per cent dip in fuel consumption,” said the supervisor of another petrol station on Sultan Qaboos Street.