OMR100 million a 'generous gesture' for National Day from Council of Ministers
November 12, 2017 | 10:05 PM
by Times News Service
The government plans to help and support the families affected due to hike in fuel prices

Muscat: Oman’s Council of Ministers has authorised a OMR100 million handout to citizens adversely affected by the removal of the fuel subsidy.

Oman’s fuel subsidy was removed in early 2016 in an effort to rationalise government expenditure. Fuel prices have since risen by more than 50 per cent, peaking last month.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Council of Ministers said: “Within the context of the continuous attention accorded by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to the living conditions of citizens and to His Majesty’s directives to the government to take steps for realising this approach, the Council of Ministers tasked a specialised committee (announced in the beginning of this year) to finalise mechanisms and executive procedures to lend support to entitled segments of society on account of the liberalisation of fuel prices, with the aim of alleviating their impact on these segments.

In view of the recommendations of the designated committee and the departments concerned, the following conclusion has been reached: To allocate an item in the annual State Budget to the tune of OMR100 million for beneficiaries of the said support.

The designated committee has to announce the details of procedures and mechanisms to be undertaken for entitlement to the prescribed support with effect from January 2018. The committee has to follow up the implementation of this issue.

This generous gesture coincides with the anniversary of the National Day and adds to the achievements made by the wise leadership of His Majesty for the prosperity of this noble country.”

Fabio Scacciavillani, Chief Economist at Oman investment Fund, said: “It can be either minimum wage workers or for people living in isolated places. It’s a matter of fairness and for people with low income group to get necessary items. This is important. I believe OMR100 million is substantial to cover fuel needs of all low income group people in Oman.”

Omani national, Juma Al Balushi, said: “As an Omani, I am really proud and happy for the announcement and we all would like to see changes like these. I am very pleased to hear about OMR100 million which has been allocated, which is a very big step for the country and will help the people who are affected by the petrol prices.”

Since subsidies were removed, fuel prices have increased in line with international prices. Oman crude reached the highest in more than two years when it was traded at $62.29 on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, last week.

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