MPs agree spending plan for diesel and petrol imports to meet high consumer demand.
Iran's parliament on Saturday approved a three-billion-dollar spending plan to fund diesel and petrol imports during the next Iranian year, the official IRNA news agency reported.
MPs approved a budget allowing imports worth up to 30 trillion rials (3.2 billion dollars) in the new year beginning on March 20.
Iran has become a net importer of diesel and petrol because of high consumer demand, partly because it spends around 100 billion dollars (68 billion euros) a year subsidising fuel prices.
Unleaded petrol in Iran currently costs around 1,000 rials (10 dollar cents) a litre.
Iran, Opec’s number two oil producer, makes around 45 million litres (12 million gallons) of petrol a day but has previously been forced to import up to 25 million litres (6 million gallons) extra every day to meet demand.
The government introduced fuel rationing in June in a bid to dampen demand, and since December drivers have been limited to buying 120 litres (26 gallons) of petrol a month.
This has cut consumption, and the country is currently importing around 15 million litres (4 million gallons) a day.
Smugglers also illegally export diesel and petrol to neighbouring Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan, where it is sold for a profit.
MPs are also considering a dual pricing system under which non-rationed petrol could be sold alongside rationed subsidised fuel, the ISNA student news agency said.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.