Qatar is latest Gulf country to increase fuel costs as low oil. gas prices put squeeze on national budget
Qatar raised domestic prices of gasoline by 30 percent from midnight on Thursday, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported, as low oil and gas prices put the squeeze on the national budget.
The government said last month that it expected a budget deficit of 46.5 billion riyals ($12.8 billion) in 2016, its first deficit in 15 years. Like other Gulf states, it has been looking at cutting lavish consumer subsidies for fuel and other products and services.
Memos from state fuel company Woqod, posted at gasoline stations across the capital Doha on Thursday, gave a few hours' notice of the increase to 1.30 riyals ($0.357) per litre from 1.00 riyals for Super 97-Octane. The new price will still be one of the lowest in the world.
QNA did not say how much money the government expected to save with the reform. The United Arab Emirates hiked gasoline prices in August, while Saudi Arabia did so last month and Oman and Bahrain followed suit this week; Kuwait is expected to take similar action in the coming months.