Lebanon Businessnews News

Cheaper gasoline in the market soon
Cabinet to add commission of petrol transporters
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A new type of fuel will soon be available at gas stations. The Cabinet last week approved importing 92 octane-graded gasoline in a bid to counter the impact of the increase in fuel prices. The local market currently uses 95- and 98- graded fuel.

Bahij Abu Hamzeh, president of the Association of Petroleum Importer Companies (APIC) said: “Importing 92 octane-graded fuel is not a solution for the rise in fuel prices. The price of 92-octane is only LL600 less than that of 95-octane fuel.”

According to Abu Hamzeh, allowing the import of 92-octane fuel will require new investments by gas stations in order to prepare their storage facilities. He said importing a third type of octane gasoline will require the Ministry of Economy and Trade to apply more control on gas stations. Abu Hamzeh said the solution for the high fuel prices is scrapping taxes on the commodity. But, he said, this option is not feasible at the moment as the State cannot chop down any fees.

Sami Brax, president of the syndicate of gas stations’ owners said importing 92-graded fuel does not solve the problem. He said the new type of fuel will incur additional expenses on gas stations. He also said this fuel does not suit all cars.

The Cabinet had also decided to increase the commission of petroleum transporters by some LL80 per each 20 liters-tank to offset the rise in fuel prices. This additional fee will be deducted from the commission collected by petroleum importer companies. Truck owners currently receive LL260 per each gasoline tank.

According to Brax, the decision to raise the commission for transporters only is unfair. He said gas stations are also calling for a higher commission on gasoline: “We have been calling (the government) to raise our fee to LL2,000, from LL1,600 currently.”

“We will call for a strike very soon if the government does not approve increasing our commission,” he said.

Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Oct 22, 2012
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