‘Commodities to become dear with petrol price hike’ – 74% wary of domino effect

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 17: With the hike in petrol prices just around the corner, this week’s Arab Times online poll sought out the reactions of readers to the drop in fuel subsidies; the majority of voters expressed fears that the prices of commodities would go up steeply as well. It was earlier announced that, as part of economic reforms aimed at addressing the budget deficit in light of falling oil prices, Kuwait would raise petrol prices for the first time in two decades. The price of low-octane petrol is set to rise by 41 percent while high-grade petrol would increase by 61 percent and the low-emission grade of petrol will be raised by a staggering 83 percent.

74 percent of respondents were wary of the domino effect of the petrol price hike. “Increase in petrol prices will drive up logistical costs and make commodities more expensive. I think this will be significant because the increase has been implemented in small, gradual increments. To straightaway start paying 40-60 percent more for petrol is going to hit us hard.” “Operating costs are going to swell across industries, no sector can be insulated from this and there is a limit to what costs companies can absorb. Employees are also going to start asking for more money with expenses going up,” a business owner told the Arab Times.

“Electricity and water subsidies are going to be cut as well, rents aren’t coming down, tariffs keep rising and other expenses keep piling up, I am waiting for my salary to also follow this upward trend but unfortunately it is the only constant in my life”, a reader shared.

10 percent of respondents shared that they would start using a lower grade of petrol. “At the end of the month when the funds dry up, I think a lot of people will be forced to opt for that lower quality of petrol that they normally don’t even consider.”

12 percent of the voters chose to look at the bright side, pointing out that petrol in Kuwait is still cheaper than other parts of the world. “Kuwait is the last country among the GCC to increase the price of petrol and it is still cheaper than most of the world. I’m always thankful for little we spend on filling up our tanks here every time I travel to the west for holiday.” There is strong support for the measure from many sections of society.

“I am completely in favor of the petrol price hike. The governmental subsidies are not sustainable with the falling oil prices and there such wasteful consumption of energy in Kuwait. We need to think about the country’s future and not have such a myopic view. Maybe this will help us, as a society, examine our habits and practice a more conservationist and efficient outlook going forward”, a young professional pointed out. Only 4 percent felt that they would have to start using public transportation.

By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 5751 times!

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