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Iran Increases Gas Price to Curb Smuggling, Boost Aid Packages

TEHRAN (FNA)- The National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) issued a statement to recount details for new prices of fuels in the country, concurrent with another statement by Vice-President and Head of the Management and Planning Organization (MPO) Mohammad Baqer Nobakht who said that the revenues will be allocated to offering subsidies to 60 million people.

The NIOPDC issued a statement late on Thursday, announcing new pricing for gas in Iran, adding that there will be no change in diesel and CNG prices.

According to the new pricing echelon, the subsidized fee of 10,000 rials (almost 8.3 cents) per liter is increased to 15,000 rials (almost 12.5 cents) per liter, a 50% rise, which is offered at a limited rate of 60 liters per month, a rationing that did not exist for the last 6 years, for private cars with a rationing card. The monthly rationing for hybrid vehicles is 30 liters.

Gas-fueled pickups used for carrying cargos will enjoy 200 liters of the rationed subsidized gas, while hybrid ones will have a 60 liter-per-month share.

However, gas fueled pickups used for carrying cargos will enjoy 300 liters of the rationed subsidized gas, while hybrids will have a 120 liter-per-month share.

gas fueled taxis will have a monthly rationing of 400 liters and hybrids will have 200 liters.

Motorbikes are offered a monthly rationing of 25 liters of subsidized fuel.

Ambulances receive a monthly 500-liter ration of gas.

However, the price for not-rationed supply of the gas is still subsidized and below the level of price offered in majority of the neighboring countries. The non-rationed price is set at 30,000 rials (almost 25 cents) per liter and there is no limitation for buying non-rationed fuel.

The statement, further added that the price for the compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel gas will remain unchanged.

After the announcement of the NIOPDC was issued, MPO Head Nobakht said, in a statement that all the revenues collected from the increase in gas prices will be allocated to increase help packages which are offered to 18,000,000 households of 60,000,000 million people.

The move is hoped to demotivate fuel smugglers who come up with very creative methods to smuggle the fuel out of Iran to neighboring countries.

Last Tuesday, police announced that it has confiscated more than 2,000 liters of smuggled fuel in Maku, a border county in the Northwestern province of West Azerbaijan.

Police Chief of Maku Colonel Hossein Shahriar said on November 05 that through extensive operations carried out by the police forces, one vehicle consisting of 2,000 liters of smuggled diesel has been seized in the city at the checkpoint.

One smuggler has been arrested in this regard, he added.

More than 150,000 liters of smuggled diesel are seized in this region annually.

Maku is situated 22 kilometers from the Turkish border in a mountain gorge at an altitude of 1634 meters.

A week before that, Police Chief of the Southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan Brigadier General Mohammad Qanbari said that the attracting crime of fuel smuggling out of Iran is being seriously fought, adding that his forces have confiscated nearly 7.8 million liters of smuggled fuel since the start of the local calendar year on March 21.

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