‘Gasoline in Iran; high consumption, low price’

Tehran Times – Yousof Hojjat, director for the transportation and traffic company affiliated to the Municipality of Tehran has warned of high consumption of gasoline in the country, criticizing it for being cheap.

“Some 100 million liters of gasoline is consumed in the country per day,” he stated, Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.

He went on to say that three important factors in choosing transportation vehicles for the residents are time, price, and convenience, however, cars are the easiest and cheapest transport vehicle due to the low cost of fuel in the country in addition to less physical movement.

Comparing bikes with cars, he lamented that since the price of a liter of gasoline is one-third a bottle of water, and cars are less time consuming and more convenient, most people would like to use it.

“When we make people aware of social factors such as air pollution, traffic congestion, and environmental damages, sense of using bicycles for transport will increase among them,” he added.

The rate of fuel consumption in the country is 10 times above some countries around the world, which shows that our policymakers need to move towards smart and efficient policies and insist on developing appropriate transportation system, he explained.

Vehicle inspection or implementation of new traffic schemes is a good policy to encourage people use less personal vehicles, he said, suggesting that for example, if people have an inspection label, they would be exempted from fees to pay for entering traffic zones, so, such encouragements must be taken into consideration.

Referring to gasoline prices, he stated that there is a need to take action in balancing the fuel costs, which has hindered development of bicycle use.

Increasing petrol prices will not only put a brake on its rising consumption, which reaches about 105 million liters on certain days, it has many other advantages as well. It helps reduce air pollution and trafficking of gasoline decreases unfair gasoline subsidies which have been mostly benefitting car owners.

Depending on the value of oil in the international market, the government is selling gasoline at one-fifth or one-seventh of its real price.

According to Donya-e-Eqtesad, an economic daily newspaper, the government is paying 4,000 billion rials (about $95 million) subsidy to gasoline per day.