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As winter sets in, gov’t urged to reduce prices of kerosene

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Nov 30,2022 - Last updated at Nov 30,2022

Experts are calling on the government to reduce prices of kerosene during the months of December and January to secure heating options for low-and middle-income households (File photo)

 

AMMAN — Experts are calling on the government to reduce prices of kerosene during the months of December and January to secure heating options for low-and middle-income households. 

Low-income families rely “heavily” on kerosene heaters to heat their households during winter. However, in light of the recent price increase of fuel derivatives, especially kerosene and diesel, Jordanians are left with no options to heat their houses other than firewood. 

There are several heating options used in households around the Kingdom, such as gas heaters, kerosene heaters, central heating, which operates on diesel, electricity or gas and firewood heaters, which is the cheapest heating option. 

According to workers at local gas stations, a litre of kerosene is currently being sold for JD0.86. A litre of diesel is also worth JD0.86. 

Given the increased prices, Economist Wajdi Makhamreh urged the government to reduce kerosene and diesel prices during winter. 

The climb in kerosene and diesel prices will negatively impact all sectors, and will be very harmful for low-and-middle income households, said Makhamreh.  

“Jordanians will be looking for other heating options such as firewood, which is terrible for the environment and for people’s health,” Makhamreh added.

Makhamreh said that instead of raising diesel and kerosene prices, the government should consider raising the price of gasoline Octane-95 instead, “which will not affect low- and middle-income households”. 

Meanwhile, demand for gas cylinders rose over the past weekend due to the cold and rainy weather conditions the country witnessed.

“Demand for gas cylinders reached 200,000 cylinders daily,” Nahar Seedat, President of the Gas Station Owners Association (GSOA) told The Jordan Times, an increase he attributed to cold-weather conditions.  

“We urge the government to reduce kerosene prices, especially during December and January, which are the coldest months of the year,” Seedat added. 

Seedat expects the demand for kerosene to decline this winter from the annual average. 

“Jordanians consume almost 140 million litres of kerosene every winter,” Seedat added. 

However, Seedat stated that this number is estimated to decline by 60 per cent this winter due to the rise in prices, as kerosene will not be within the financial reach of low-income Jordanian households.

“People on low incomes are forced to move away from the once-cheap kerosene, as the government increased kerosene prices,” Ahmad Masadeh, a Jordanian, told The Jordan Times. 

Masadeh added that his family replaced their kerosene heater with a firewood heater to save on their monthly heating bill. 

“Electricity and fuel costs are way beyond low-income families’ means,” Makhamreh added. 

Makhamreh stated that the cost of buying, installing and maintaining air conditioners and gas heaters is beyond the financial reality for low and many middle-income households.

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