Iran’s fuel price hike cut daily consumption by a fifth: Minister
Dubai, UAE - Daily consumption of petrol in Iran has dropped by about a fifth following the government’s decision to hike prices and introduce rationing, according to officials.
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said demand fell by 20mn litres a day, while National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Co said consumption had dropped from an average daily rate of 98mn litres since March 20 to 79mn litres.
Iran this month cut back on expensive petrol subsidies with its economy struggling under the weight of crippling US sanctions. Prices rose by as much as 300 per cent, triggering a wave of nationwide protests. The state responded with a swift crackdown that, according to Amnesty International, left 143 people dead and more than 1,000 in detention. Officials put the death toll much lower.
Authorities argued the move was necessary to cut back on consumption and generate revenue, but detractors are sceptical the measure will benefit the poor or middle class.