EghtesadOnline: Rationing and higher prices are needed to help reduce fuel consumption, the oil minister said. "There are a number of proposals on the table but no decision has been taken because of a lack of consensus,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying by ISNA.
According to the minister, raising prices will be followed by spiraling inflation that has experienced an uptrend in recent months
"Selling the fuel with higher prices could be effective, but it is logical to set them proportional to people's purchasing power."
Higher prices at the pump not only can help curb consumption, but also help contain fuel smuggling in regions bordering Afghanistan and Iraq, Financial Tribune quoted the minister as saying.
Asked about the volumes of oft-mentioned gasoline smuggling, Zanganeh said all the available figures are guesstimates and “there is no official and precise data.”
It is often reported that between 10 and 20 million liters of gasoline is smuggled to neighboring countries every day.
On self-sufficiency in production of the strategic fuel, he said gasoline production has exceeded 95 million liters per day that “now is enough to meet domestic demand.”
Gasoline output has risen by 83% compared to 2012 when production was around 50 million liters, he said.
“The country will face an energy crisis if the government fails to meet demand, especially under the sanctions regime," he said referring to the new US economic restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump.
The government has excluded funding for gasoline import in the national budget for the next fiscal (March 2019-20) and has put an end to decades of dependence on costly imported fuel.
Daily gasoline imports reached 12 million liters in 2016 when Iranians burnt almost 74 million liters of gasoline daily. This volume dwindled to 3 ml/d in mid-2018.