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Iran's parliament bans subsidizing imported gasoline
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08:33, March 13, 2009

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Iran's Parliament (Majlis) on Thursday voted to ban allocating any subsidy for imported gasoline, local Mehr news agency reported.

"Parliament on Thursday voted to ban paying any subsidy for imported gasoline in the next Iranian year which starts on March 21," Mehr reported.

"According to the parliamentary approval, the imported gasoline must be sold at the market price," the report said.

Currently, private car owners get a ration of 120 liters of gasoline per month at the subsidized price of 1,000 rials (9.7 U.S. cents) per liter. Mehr said "the ration will be decreased."

In February, Iran said it might end its fuel rationing program which started in 2007 and triple gasoline prices in the next Iranian calendar year.

According to Iran's Press TV, Majlis had set up a special commission to review the country's budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year, which had proposed that the government should end its gasoline rationing program and set a price of 3,500rials (36 cents) per liter next year.

Iran, which is OPEC's second biggest oil producer, spends a lot every year to import gasoline due to lack of adequate refining capacity.

In order to reduce government's fiscal burden, a fuel rationing program was introduced in 2007 to cut excessive fuel consumption in the country.


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