Envoy: Iran Increases Monthly Quota to Control Black Market

A01461139.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran has increased the monthly gasoline quota for private drivers to 120 liters from 100 liters from Saturday in a bid to end scarcity and check black marketeering, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hamid Reza Asefi said yesterday.

“The government has increased the quota for cars by 20 per cent. The quota for motorcycles has also gone up,” Asefi said.

He said the higher monthly allocation would affect the black marketing of the fuel “in a positive way.”

Iran introduced gasoline rationing for motorists in June this year in a bid to rein in costly imports that it has to make because the world’s fourth largest oil exporter lacks refining capacity to meet local consumption.

The move helped reduce import volumes of gasoline to about 315,000 tons for October and November, or 88,000 barrels per day, about 60 per cent lower from the pre-rationing level of 770,000 tons in June.

Iran consumed 75 to 78 million liters a day of fuel before the rationing started, importing about 40 per cent to meet domestic consumption which has been growing at 10 per cent a year. The country initially aimed and succeeded in cutting consumption to about 60 million liters.

The imports cost the country close to $5 billion last year, while this year’s budget to March 2008 is $2.5 billion.

International traders ship about 210,000 barrels per day or 25 cargoes of fuel a month to Iran. Imports mainly come from India, the Netherlands, France and the UAE.

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