Judiciary vows to closely monitor gasoline scheme’s implementation

MNA – Iran’s Judiciary Chief has called on all related authorities to take every measure to ensure a recent scheme for a hike in the price of subsidized gasoline is correctly implemented, saying it will closely monitor the procedures so that the plan will not result in more price rises.

In a statement released on Sunday, Ebrahim Raeisi said the Judiciary will closely monitor the procedures of the scheme, making sure that the extra revenues generated from the removal of gasoline subsidies will be spent as planned.

He called on the government to advance the extra revenues in people’s bank accounts to prove that it is going to stand by its words and do everything possible to ease the impact of the new decision on people, saying it should not lead to further hike in commodity prices.

Raeisi also urged the security officials to diligently deliver on their duty in countering the protests and respect the rights of the citizens who have been worried about the sudden price hike.

Based on a decision made by the Judiciary, Legislative and Administrative branches, the government implemented a new gasoline rationing and price revision plan on Friday. Following the decision, a number of Iranian cities saw sporadic protesters that turned violent in some cases.

President Hassan Rouhani said the government has no intention to receive any portion of the hike despite the economic woes in the country. He added that the government’s move to increase the gasoline prices would be beneficial to the Iranian people, particularly those who are going through economic hardships.

Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, head of Plan and Budget Organization has said that about 60 million people out of the 82 million population will get an extra monthly bonus to compensate for the rise in petrol prices. He did not provide details.

“The first payments will be made within the next week or 10 days.”

According to the official, annual subsidy allocated for gasoline is $20 billion and experts believe the massive subsidy has created a yawning gap between gasoline prices in Iran (7 cents) and neighboring countries at around 100 cents. Scrapping fuel subsidies and raising tariffs had been a long-expected priority of the Oil Ministry.

On Saturday, Raeisi, Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani convened a session of the Supreme Council of Economic Coordination and agreed that all state bodies will fully cooperate in implementing the decision.