KUWAIT CITY, Aug 1, (Agencies): The Kuwaiti Cabinet Monday decided to raise petrol prices by more than 80 percent from Sept 1 as part of economic reforms aimed at countering falling oil revenues. The Cabinet endorsed on Monday a plan to “start rationalizing fuel subsidies where the prices will be restructured in harmony with the average rates” in the other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The ministers, during the weekly session, were briefed about recommendations presented by the economic affairs committee with respect of a proposal by the committee charged with revising various kinds of State subsidies, on setting fuel prices.
They approved the commission recommendation and decided to begin “rationalizing subsidies for benzene in the country, as part of the Government reform scheme where the fuel products’ prices will be restructured to be in harmony with the average rates in the other GCC states.
“The new pricing policy will be in effect as of 1-9-2016 in line with the policies adopted in the GCC countries.” The new prices are as follows:
Octane-91: 85 ﬁls per liter from 60,
Octane-95: 105 fpl from 65,
Ultra-Premium: 165 fpl from 95.
The new prices have been set after examining global rates. Kuwait is the last GCC State to embark on “restructuring the fuel prices,” however the new ones remain the lowest among the Council countries, as well as globally.
Moreover, the Cabinet has tasked a special commission to re-examine the State subsidies and the fuel prices every three months, to be in harmony with the global rates.
Kuwaiti Finance Ministry Undersecretary Khalifa Hamada told the al-Qabas newspaper at the end of 2015 that “rationalising” subsidies would save the government 2.6 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($8.7 billion) over three years.
Anas Al-Saleh, the Finance Minister and acting oil minister, in July predicted a 9.5 billion dinar budget deﬁcit for the current ﬁscal year, which began on April 1. Last year, the United Arab Emirates raised octane 95 gasoline by almost a quarter. Qatar raised domestic prices of gasoline by 30 percent in January.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia also aims to cut water, electricity and fuel prices according to a National Transformation Plan rolled out in June.