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UAE hikes petrol prices by 24%: Job cut worry for expatriates

As the UAE raised the petrol price, and eliminated the subsidy, the expatriates and other residents expressed their fear that prices of essential goods will go up, eating up the chances of savings, and there will be adverse impact on the job sector.

ABU DHABI: The UAE on Tuesday raised the petrol prices by a steep 24 per cent to come into effect from August 1, ending decades-long subsidies, to bring the prices on par with the international level.

The decision amounts to elimination of the subsidy regime which the government claims will boost up the economy. On the other hand, expatriates and other residents of the UAE are worried the prices would shoot up and the employment sector will also be hit.

The Ministry of Energy claimed that a reduction of diesel prices by 29 per cent will stimulate the economy, and will compensate for the petrol hike. It said it should reduce the prices of commodities. The government visualises overall improvement in economy.

Diesel prices have been reduced by 29 per cent and petrol prices increased by about 24 per cent for the month of August.

According to Ministry statements, unleaded gasoline 95 Octane rose 24.41 per cent from Dh1.72 per litre to Dh2.14 per litre. Similarly, 98 Octane new rates reached at Dh2.25 per litre from Dh1.83 per litre, reflecting an increase of 22.95 per cent while E-Plus 91 prices recorded highest rise in prices as it climbed 28.57 per cent from Dh1.61 per litre to Dh2.07 per litre, Khaleej Times quoted from the ministry website.

It was reported last week that the fuel prices would be deregulated and would be linked with global prices.

By and large, the residents have expressed shock over the decision to raise the price of petrol. Some local residents said that the hike deprives the incentive for expatriates to work in the UAE. There won't be any savings left, some people rued. The steep hike is also expected to have adverse impact on the employment front. The move will primarily disadvantage the low-income residents and the security of rtheir jobs.

The oil companies in Abu Dhabi have welcomed the the deregulation of oil prices. "We support the decision liberalising the prices as it will help rationalise fuel consumption, conserving the environment and protecting natural resources for generations yet to come," Khaleej Times quoted Abdullah Salem Al Dhahiri, chief executive officer (CEO) of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company or Adnoc, as saying.

Economists have said the deregulation of petroleum prices helps government to utilise funds for productive investments instead of wasteful subsidies.

July 28, 2015

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