Press TV - Iran says its gasoline rationing scheme has helped the world's fourth-largest oil producer to curb fuel consumption significantly.
"Gasoline rationing cut consumption by about 20 million liters per day and saved the country close to four billion dollars," Senior Presidential Advisor, Mojtaba Samareh-Hashami said.
As Iran has a limited refining capacity to produce gasoline, it implemented a rationing program in June 2007 to cut excessive fuel consumption and ease the burden on state coffers.
Meanwhile, Director of International Affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Hojjatollah Ghanimifard said the rationing program helped the country to spend less on importing gasoline last year.
Ghanimifard said earlier in June that despite the fuel rationing program, the Iranian government is planning to ask the Parliament for $7 billion for gasoline and diesel imports.
The budget required for the increasingly expensive fuel imports might increase during the current Iranian year that ends in March 2009 if global gasoline prices continue to rise, he warned.
Under the current rationing program, fuel is sold with government subsidies priced at 1,000 rials (about 11 US cents) a liter. Since March, drivers can purchase more gasoline than their quota (120 liters a month for private cars) for 4,000 rials per liter.
Among the latest changes in the rationing program announced on June 7 is a measure that requires owners of luxury vehicles to purchase premium gasoline at market prices as of June 21, instead of heavily subsidized regular unleaded fuel.
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