Saudi Arabia has increased the price of petrol, as it looks to curb the rapid growth in domestic consumption of energy products in the kingdom.
Effective from January 1, the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources announced plans to increase the price of Octane 91 fuel from 0.75 riyals per litre to SR1.37 per litre (82% increase) and 95 Octane from 0.90 riyals per litre to SR2.04 per litre (up 126%). Diesel for transport remains unchanged.
The increased prices include VAT, which was also introduced across the kingdom on Monday.
The kingdom’s Ministry of Commerce and Investment said it will monitor fuel stations in all regions of the country to ensure that prices are applied, not manipulated, and that supplies are not interrupted. Saudi Aramco said it will provide its customers with detailed information on mechanisms of applying these prices.
As part of its budget announcement last month, Saudi Arabia said its economy contracted for the first time in eight years due to austerity measures as it announced record spending to stimulate growth.
Riyadh also posted a higher-than-expected budget deficit in 2017 and forecast another shortfall next year for the fifth year in a row due to the drop in oil revenues.
It unveiled plans to spend more than ever in 2018 in a bid to stimulate the sluggish economic, saying it expects GDP to grow by 2.7 percent.
The finance ministry estimated a deficit of $52 billion for 2018.
King Salman told the cabinet that Saudi Arabia expects to continue posting deficits through to 2023.
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