• Government denies gasoline price hike is planned
  • Committee is studying impact of subsidies

Kuwait’s Finance Ministry has denied reports that the government plans to raise petrol prices next year in a statement issued on 26 July.

It said a committee chaired by Finance Minister Anas Khalid al-Saleh was studying the issue as part of a larger study into subsidies and their effects. The statement said there was no intention to cut subsidies on goods or public services.

“The government is not trying to reduce subsidies, it is rather working on paying them to real beneficiaries in order to achieve justice,” the statement said.

The daily Kuwait Times reported on 26 July that the Kuwait cabinet will discuss two studies, one completed by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), about increasing domestic fuel prices.

It said the studies have been sent to the cabinet to be discussed by its economic committee before the meeting of the full cabinet at the end of August or beginning of September.

Kuwait, which has among the world’s lowest domestic fuel prices, is seeking to cut subsidies on petroleum products.  The government raised the price of diesel at wholesalers and filling stations to KD 0.170 dinar ($0.59) a litre from KD 0.055 dinar on 1 January. Kerosene prices were increased at the same time.

Following complaints, state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) cut diesel and kerosene prices back to KD 0.11, effective 1 February.  KNPC said domestic prices of the fuels would be reviewed monthly according to developments in the global markets.