Iran to increase gas bills slightly next solar year
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 17
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
The National Iranian Gas Company's deputy director has said that gas bills in the country will be increased marginally in the next Iranian calendar year, starting on March 21, the Mehr News Agency reported on March 17.
Mohammad Reza Gharavi added that within the framework of the second phase of the subsidy reform plan, gas bills for the household sector will be slightly increased in the next year.
A number of scenarios have been prepared and submitted to the government in this regard, he noted.
On March 2, the managing director of Iranian Fuel Conservation Company, Nasrollah Seifi, repeated the claim. He said that households' consumption accounts for the lion's share of the country's total gas consumption.
He went on to note that Iranians currently pay only 16 per cent of the real price of natural gas and the government pays for the rest in the form of subsidy.
According to Seifi, the final price of natural gas after implementation of the subsidy reform plan should be around 18,700 rials per cubic meters. The figure currently stands at 700 rials.
In September 2013, the Fars News Agency quoted the National Iranian Gas Company's spokesman Majid Boujarzadeh as saying that Iran has added 100 rials (about $0.5 cent) to gas bills per each cubic meters of gas in order to secure funds for implementing gas supply projects nationwide.
The decision has been taken based on the national budget bill, he added.
The money up to the ceiling of 16 trillion rials (about $650 million) will be used to establish gas pipelines and facilities, especially in underdeveloped regions, he noted.
The subsidy reform plan is aimed at easing pressure on state finances by cutting tens of billions of dollars from government subsidies on food and fuel. The government pays cash to citizens as compensation for increased prices by cutting subsides.
Iranian government currently spends $1.4 billion per month ($16 billion annually) on the cash subsidies, which is $4.74 billion more than its income from the subsidy reform plan.
Edited by C.N.