Iranian MPs approve 3-billion-dollar fuel import budget
Iran's parliament on Saturday approved a three-billion-dollar spending plan to fund diesel and petrol imports during the next Iranian year, the official IRNA news agency reported.
MPs approved a budget allowing imports worth up to IRR30 trillion (Dh11.7 billion) in the new year beginning on March 20.
Iran has become a net importer of diesel and petrol because of high consumer demand, partly because it spends around $100bn (Dh367bn) a year subsidising fuel prices.
Unleaded petrol in Iran currently costs around IRR1,000 a litre.
Iran, Opec's number two oil producer, makes around 45 million litres of petrol a day but has previously been forced to import up to 25 million litres extra every day to meet demand.
The government introduced fuel rationing in June in a bid to dampen demand, and since December drivers have been limited to buying 120 litres of petrol a month.
This has cut consumption, and the country is currently importing around 15 million litres a day.
Smugglers also illegally export diesel and petrol to neighbouring Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan, where it is sold for a profit.
Members of parliament are also considering a dual pricing system under which non-rationed petrol could be sold alongside rationed subsidised fuel, the ISNA student news agency said. (AFP)
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