Tehran, Feb 2, IRNA - Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh said in Tehran Saturday that seven to eight billion dollars are needed for gasoline and gas oil imports in the next Iranian year of 1387 (to start on March 21, 2008).
Nematzadeh told a press conference that the government has proposed a budget of rls 30,000 billion for import of the two products.
He said gasoline rationing and price will be determined in proportion to the next year's budget.
He went on to say that the government has in the next year budget predicted a sum of rls 30,000 billion for fuel subsidy.
The official said the government should decide how to fill the gap between the amount of the fuel subsidy and the expenditure needed for import of gasoline and gas oil.
Nematzadeh said gasoline rationing will continue next year unless Majlis adopts a legislation otherwise.
Since the law on development of public transportation stresses subsidy-free gasoline and gas oil by the year 2012, the country should meet the target gradually in four years.
"Step-by-step increase in price of gasoline in four years and meeting the target by the year 2012 would be less inflationary," he added. He stressed the need to offer gasoline at its real price.
The official said dlrs 2.5 billion has been stipulated for mport of gasoline and dlrs 1.3 billion for that of gas oil this year but on the whole more than six billion dollars was spent on the imports this year and the extra budget was provided from the resources of National Iranian Oil Company.
He said gasoline price hike following rise in global crude price was the reason behind increase in the budget for import of gasoline.
To a question on the gas oil rationing, Nematzadeh said the project is not on agenda.
Elsewhere in the interview, Nematzadeh said projects are underway for establishment of new refineries.
He said the oil refineries will run with the capacity of 3,100,000 barrels per day in the next four to five years.
He added that the refineries will produce about 180 million liters of gasoline and about 145 million liters of gas oil a day in five years. The projects will cost about dlrs 18 billion, he noted.
Nematzadeh also said the government considers establishing the Caspian refinery, whose feedstock will be provided from the Caspian Sea.
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