Iran Economy NewsIran gasoline use drops 16.6 pct after price hike

Iran gasoline use drops 16.6 pct after price hike

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Reuters: Iranian gasoline useage dropped by 16.6 percent on the first day after the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implemented a deeply unpopular four-fold price rise, the oil ministry website said on Monday.

TEHRAN Dec 20 (Reuters) – Iranian gasoline useage dropped by 16.6 percent on the first day after the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implemented a deeply unpopular four-fold price rise, the oil ministry website said on Monday.

“On Saturday, 63.9 million litres of gasoline was consumed in the country but it dropped by 10.6 million litres on Sunday to 53.3 million litres simultaneous with the enforcement of the targeted-subsidy law,” the website reported the state National Iranian Refining and Distribution Co. as saying.

Up until Sunday, subsidies had allowed Iranians — who see cheap fuel in the oil-rich country as a birthright — to pay just 1,000 rials (about 10 U.S. cents) per litre for the first 60 litres they buy per month. Beyond that they paid 4,000 rials per litre.

The price hike pushed the 60-litre ration price up to 4,000 rials and the higher price to 7,000 rials.

As well as saving state cash, the subsidy cut is aimed at curbing excessive consumption of valuable resources in Iran, whose economy has been hit by United Nations, European Union and U.S. sanctions in a dispute over its nuclear programme.

People rioted when the government started rationing subsidised petrol in 2007, but a heavy police presence at gas stations and a general feeling of resignation meant there was no trouble reported on Sunday. (Writing by Hashem Kalantari, editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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