M91 fuel will be frozen at its current price – 186 baisas a litre – until the government can implement “mechanisms to support deserving citizens,” the Council of Ministers has announced.
Oman’s Council of Ministers has ordered a price freeze on the country’s most popular fuel after calls for an urgent review of escalating costs.
The price of regular fuel has risen by 63 per cent since January 15, 2016, the day fuel subsidies were scrapped in Oman. More cars run on this fuel than on diesel and the more expensive M95 super fuel combined.
The statement from the council added: “In the context of government’s care to support society segments which have been affected by the global oil prices, the Council of Ministers has directed the committee in-charge of following up the oil prices to finalise mechanisms to support the deserving citizens as a result of rising prices of global fuel so that the M91 price adopted during this month of February 2017 be fixed until the mechanism referred to comes into effect.” The announcement was hailed as a “wise decision” by Shura members, consumers and trade unionists after a series of calls to urgently review the rising cost of fuel in the Sultanate.
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A Majlis Al Shura meeting will be held today (Wednesday) to examine how best to help low-paid workers in the country.
The council will discuss “executable solutions” made by members in relation to fuel pricing for the current month and the “impact on segments of society”.
“The Council of Ministers made a wise decision to fix the regular fuel prices. It coincides with the Shura’s suggestions and discussions that were commenced recently,” said Mohammad bin Ali Al Badi, member of the Shura Council representing Buraimi.
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“It will help those with low incomes and families living on social welfare. Nobody can survive with these fuel prices if their salary is OMR300. Students also would have to churn out more money if they don’t have the financial support. “Of course the decision to fix the price is made until there is clear criteria on deciding the fuel prices,” said Al Badi.
The General Federation of Oman Trade Unions, (GFOTU) yesterday urged the government to look into the issue immediately and revise increases, which they say are adversely affecting low income families. A spokesman even called for fuel stamps to be introduced.