Gas prices drop in Kur­dis­tan

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Fol­low­ing months of high gas prices due to the con­se­quent se­cu­rity and fi­nan­cial crises in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) low­ered gaso­line prices by more than 22%, from IQD900/liter to IQD700/liter. The new prices were ef­fec­tive March 1, 2015.

The de­ci­sion came af­ter a lot of com­plaints and crit­i­cism by the peo­ple about the high prices.

Peo­ple, who have been al­ready suf­fer­ing from the pro­longed fi­nan­cial cri­sis and salary is­sues, wel­comed the de­ci­sion and hailed the ef­forts that led to the price re­duc­tion.

“Fuel price drop is not only good for driv­ers but also for all the peo­ple,” said Ad­nan Sheikh Omer, a lo­cal from Er­bil says. “Re­duced gas prices mean re­duced trans­porta­tion cost, which is in the ben­e­fit of the public.”

Sabir Rostam from Garmian says the tim­ing of the de­ci­sion was per­fect as peo­ple are suf­fer­ing from the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

He claimed that this would have a broader im­pact by push­ing down com­mod­ity prices, which in the end will ben­e­fit the peo­ple of the Re­gion.”

Kar­wan Ali, on the other hand, says the prices do not yet meet the ex­pec­ta­tions of the peo­ple; how­ever, they also need to con­sider the pres­sure and bur­den on the gov­ern­ment as their bud­get share has been cut by Bagh­dad for 14 months now.

“Beiji Re­fin­ery used to be the source of gas sup­ply to the re­gion,” said Ali. “How­ever, due to the ISIS war, Kur­dis­tan is no longer re­ceiv­ing fuel from the re­fin­ery.”

Musheer Arif, an econ­o­mist, says this de­ci­sion has two as­pects, “on the one hand it is in the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple, but on the other hands it harms the gov­ern­ment fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion and its money re­serves.”

Arif ar­gues that peo­ple should be aware of both sides of the price drops and in­stead of only think­ing of the amounts they save in buy­ing fuel, they should also think about the bur­den on the gov­ern­ment by sub­si­diz­ing the gas.”

Arif sug­gests that gov­ern­ment should use the me­dia to raise peo­ple’s aware­ness about the use of fuel and the neg­a­tive im­pacts of low fuel prices and its ex­ces­sive con­sump­tion.

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