Lebanon Businessnews News

Gasoline prices up
GLC calls for a general strike in April
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The weekly circular released by the Ministry of Water and Power on Wednesday, indicated a LL300 ($0.2) rise in prices of 98-gasoline per 20 liters to $23 or LL34,000. Prices of 95-gasoline were up LL200 ($0.13) to LL33,000 ($22).

Gasoline taxes are the main source of revenue to the government. Revenues from gasoline excises reached$657 million (LL990 billion) in 2009, up from only $74 million (LL112 billion) in 2008. In January 2010, the same tax generated $56 million in revenues for the government.

Bassam, a Lebanese citizen, who works in a company located in Hamra Street, said “this rise in prices is no longer endurable.” Bassam said he pays nearly $7 or LL10,000 for gasoline per day to get to his work. He pays another $2 (LL4,000) for parking services. In total, this citizen needs nearly $10 per day or $220 per month to pay for his transportation services which accounts to 15 percent of his salary. “This is too much,” he said.

Rana, another employee in one of Beirut-located companies, lives a similar situation. "I stopped using my car when getting to work, it is too costly… I prefer to go by taxi,” she said.

Both Rana and Bassam have asked the government to set up “decent and public transportation networks which would help reduce the transporation expenses burden.”

Objecting on the rise in prices, The General Confederation of Workers (GLC) said it will implement a general strike on Thursday, April 22. GLC has asked all its taxi driver members to participate in the demonstrations from seven in the morning until noon. It also invited them to successive general assembly meetings starting next week to prepare for the strike.

Date Posted: Mar 31, 2010
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