How should Iran fight fuel smuggling?

Tehran, Iran, March 22

Trend:

Increase of fuel smuggling out of Iran has paved way for assumptions that the country might set a quota on fuel export or revive the smart fuel card to curb the volume of smuggling.

Iranian MP Ghasem Saedi has discussed the possible rise of fuel price in the new Iranian year (started March 21, 2019) in an interview with Trend.

"The parliament has no plan to increase the prices and if the government drafts a bill, it should be submitted to the parliament. But there was no comment on raising the prices in the parliament's energy commission due to pressures of high prices that already affect the society and the chaotic market. If the fuel price increases, the other prices would also rise and people are not able to tolerate it," he added.

Referring to volume of fuel being smuggled out of the country during the last Iranian year (started March 21, 2018) he said that the current statistics are from Iran's Central Task Force to Combat the Smuggling of Commodities and Currency and it's not certain if they are correct or not. “Some say 30 million liters of gasoline is smuggled out of the country per day and the lowest volume is 25 million liters per day."

He went on to add that the Iranian parliament thinks setting a quota is not a solution, but closing down the sources of smuggling would be effective. There should be supervision over gas stations , border guards and law enforcement, the MP believes.

“The Oil Ministry says it delivers fuel to gas stations and afterwards the Central Task Force to Combat the Smuggling of Commodities and Currency is responsible to control the issue with more precision. In Sistan and Baluchestan Province the fuels is smuggled by tanker and these tankers were identifiable and the government should have confronted this," said Saedi.

Referring to the revival of fuel card in new Iranian year (started on March 21, 2019) he said, there are no such plans at present.

"By reviving fuel cards and implementing quota can only create a third party that abuse the cards and buy fuel with domestic price and smuggle it out , so the smuggling will continue with intermediaries, " he said.

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