Energy experts demand review of fuel taxes as gov’t mulls another price hike

Fuel pumps at an Amman gas station. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/JNews)
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN Energy experts are expecting yet another price hike on diesel and kerosene at the end of the month, just as the winter season is kicking in, amid concerns that the rise will hit hard Jordanians across the board. اضافة اعلان

Those interviewed by Jordan News renewed calls for a reduction of the tax on petroleum products, arguing that it will contribute to reducing the government’s energy bill, and that lowering prices will help investors and individuals alike.

Energy expert Hashem Akel told Jordan News that he expects diesel prices to rise by 35 fils.

“Moreover, an increase in kerosene prices is also expected, and afterward the government will be fixing the price till the beginning of April 2023,” he added.

Akel said that the government fixed the prices of fuel products at the beginning of this year, “and this resulted in a huge gap between global and local prices of diesel”. Therefore, the only option for the government now is to raise diesel prices to match global prices.

In order to reduce the cost of fuel products to help citizens, the government has options, he stressed.

“The first option is to consider activating the clause in the Petroleum Derivatives Prices Liberalization Law 2008 that talks about price caps for oil derivatives, and allowing companies to sell under this price,” he pointed out.

Such measure would “create a kind of competition in the market, and this will benefit the consumer”, he said.

“The second thing the government could do is to abandon the monthly pricing of oil derivatives, and let the market compete,” Akel said, noting that the monthly pricing mechanism is not fair to citizens.

Energy expert Amer Al-Shobaki told Jordan News that demands for lowering the tax imposed on fuel derivatives are not new, however, “the government’s commitment to the conditions of the International Monetary Fund for the economic reform plan makes these demands redundant”.

Moreover, “such demands will never be met”, he added.

“It is lawmakers who can raise such demands and put pressure on the government, even by threatening a vote of no confidence,” he noted.

A source at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources told Jordan News that the Petroleum Derivatives Pricing Committee determines the fuel prices at the end of each month, based on calculating the global average price of derivatives for the entire month.

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