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Sharp rises in fuel prices come amid public anger over tax bill

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 31,2018 - Last updated at May 31,2018

AMMAN — The government on Thursday announced an increase in prices of electricity and various types of oil derivatives as of June 1st reflecting a “significant rise” in prices of crude oil globally.

The government introduced a 23.5 per cent increase to electricity prices as of June 1 for all sectors and segments of the population, excluding households that consume 300 kilowatt-hours (kWh) or less per month and industrial facilities that are classified as middle-sized facilities, Farouq Hiyari, chief commissioner of the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission, told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

The price of kWh will increase from 17 to 21 fils until the end of June, he told The Jordan Times over the phone.

“We will increase the prices of electricity following a rise in crude prices globally as the average of barrel exceeded the $55 cap set by the government to keep electricity tariffs unchanged. The average price of crude oil barrel over the past three months was $71.54,” Hiyari said.

Electricity prices are announced at the end of each month based on the average cost of crude oil recorded over the three previous months.

“Industrial facilities that are classified as middle-sized facilities will only pay 10 fils per kilowatt/hour and they are excluded from any increase,” he said.

The government decided also to increase prices of various types of fuels as of June 1 until the end of the month, according to a Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources official.

The price of unleaded gasoline 90 octane was raised by 5.5 per cent from JD0. 815 per litre to JD0.860 per litre, while the price of unleaded gasoline 95 octane rose by 4.7 per cent from JD1.050 per litre to JD1.100 per litre.

Diesel and kerosene prices went up by 4.8 per cent from JD0.615 per litre to JD0.645 per litre, the official said.

“The increase in fuel prices is due to the sharp rise in prices of crude oil as the average price of crude oil barrel reached $76.95 in May, which is up by 7.4 per cent when compared to April,” the official added.

President of the Foodstuff Traders Association Khalil Haj Tawfiq said the increase in prices of fuel and electricity would put more burden on traders and citizens alike.

“Cost of distributing commodities between governorates and in Amman is rising and we cannot tolerate continued rise in prices,” he told The Jordan Times.

“Malls, supermarkets and groceries will pay more for electricity for refrigerated commodities such as poultry, meat and cheese. This is an additional cost on them. Traders are concerned and this cannot continue,” he added.

“When will this be over? We see an increase in prices of fuel and electricity almost every month,” Tawfiq said.

The rise of fuel prices came one day after thousands of professionals and protesters took part in a nationwide strike and rallies against the government-drafted income tax bill.

 

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