Jordan expects 4 more fuel hikes this year

Parliament committee calls for cutting tax on fuel, but gov’t refuses

Jordanians standing on a gas pump in an Amman gas station. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/JNews)

AMMAN — Jordanians should expect four more fuel price hikes in the coming months, Minister of Interior Mazen Al-Faraya said Tuesday, according to Al-Mamlaka TV.اضافة اعلان

Faraya’s comment Tuesday came as parliament’s Energy Committee urged the government to reconsider a flat tax levied on oil derivatives to stem the hike in the fuel prices and help citizens cope with the increases, Al-Mamlaka said in another report.

But the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, said that the ministry has no intention to reduce, or cut the tax at present.

Faraya told a meeting with a group of investors at Al-Hassan Industrial Estate that Jordanians “are going to witness at least four hikes on fuel prices in the upcoming months”.

He said Jordan has several agreements with important economies worldwide, but that local investors are not taking advantage of these accords.

He pointed out that the government seeks to attract investors and foreign capital as well as sign agreements. He added that the state also addresses and fixes “problems which investors may face”.

Faraya said the government was also working to amend conditions resulting from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war on the Ukraine.

“The government will not stop supporting those who are most effected,” he emphasized.

Faraya said Jordan offers residency permits and citizenship to investors, noting that more than 60 people received Jordanian citizenship in the past seven months through their investment portfolios.

Separately, the Parliamentary Energy Committee called on the government to reconsider the fixed tax on oil derivatives.

The committee said in a meeting Tuesday that “a draft law must be prepared and submitted to parliament to nationalize the energy sector”.

It urged the government to encourage the use of electric cars, and to reconsider a tax imposed on hybrid cars.

The committee pointed out that there must be instructions to prohibit the use government vehicles, which engine exceed 2,000cc, and to standardize a bid for the purchase of oil derivatives for the government sector.

The committee also demanded the abolition of a new tax levied from citizens who use renewable energy, as well as including the entire household sector with the electricity subsidies.

But Kharabsheh, the minister of energy, said he has no intention of reviewing a cut-off on the fuel tax at the present time and within the current circumstances, suggesting that it will be reviewed in the future, according to Jo24.

Kharabsheh explained that the government subsidizes a litre of diesel fuel for JD0.13, as it is sold for JD0.68, while the price per litre in the international market is JD0.81. He said money generated from gasoline 90 and 95 octane covers the diesel subsidy.

He said the consumption of 95 octane gasoline is estimated at only 4 percent of the total fuel sold in the market, while 90 octane gasoline stands at 40 percent. The remainder, he added, is diesel, which has the highest consumption rate in the Kingdom.

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