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Iran after floating price for free-market petrol: official

TEHRAN, June 10 (Mehr News Agency) -- The cabinet is seeking a floating price for free-market gasoline set every month, said Mohammadreza Ne'matzadeh, the managing director of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) in Tehran Sunday.

The Energy Committee of Majlis (parliament) rapporteur said Ne'matzadeh offered a report on the latest conditions of filling stations and fuel smart cards in Sunday's open session of parliament.

"The lawmakers backed the enforcement of rationing plan and delivery of surplus gasoline," added Seyyed Emad Hosseini, assuring "suggested rationing quota for a car was at least 5 and at most 6 liters per day".

Contradictory reports

Contradictory reports are coming in from senior government officials and Majlis deputies about the program to ration gasoline. One of the latest remarks was made by a member of the Majlis Presiding Board.

Hamidreza Hajbabaii announced that gasoline rationing will begin on June 21. The parliamentarian, however, stated that the quota for a car is still unclear, according to IRIB News.

It is not certain yet whether the government will sell gasoline outside the rationing system.

Majlis approved a ratification in late March authorizing the government to increase the price of gasoline to 1,000 rials (11 cents) per liter from 800 (less than eight cents) rials per liter through smart cards. The parliament also obliged the government to implement a rationing program from May 22.

Lawmakers permitted the government to determine the price of gasoline sold in excess of the rationed quota, Petroenergy Information Network (PIN) reported.

As of May 22, gasoline is being sold at 1,000 rials per liter through smart cards. However gasoline rationing was delayed since all drivers had not received smartcards. Asked why the program has not yet been implemented, he said that the government has so far faced problems in enforcing the rationing system.

This is while chairman of the Majlis Energy Committee said late May that the parliament may scrap the plan to ration gasoline.

Kamal Daneshyar, who represents Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province in Majlis, stated that lawmakers are mulling a proposal on a double-urgency plan to delay or even do away with gasoline rationing.

Daneshyar's remarks came a few days after the interior minister said gasoline rationing scheme will be implemented in two weeks.

On May 22, Mostafa Purmohammadi told reporters, "All the smart cards will be distributed in the next 10-15 days making it possible to commence the rationing scheme."

... Payvand News - 6/11/07 ... --

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