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Kuwait nearly doubles price of more environmentally-friendly, low-emission petrol Open in fullscreen

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Kuwait nearly doubles price of more environmentally-friendly, low-emission petrol

The increase is the first in almost 20 years [AFP]

Date of publication: 2 August, 2016

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Kuwait will raise the price of cleaner petrol by 80 percent, starting September, in an attempt to respond to falling oil revenues which has hit the oil-producer hard.

The Kuwaiti government said it will raise petrol prices by more than 80 percent, in the latests economic reform aimed at coping with falling oil revenues.

From 1 September the price of low octane petrol will rise by 41 percent to 28 US cents a litre. High-grade petrol will increase by 61 percent to 35 cents, the government said in a statement.

Kuwait also announced that the price of environmentally-friendly low-emission "ultra" petrol will rise by 83 percent to 55 cents a litre.

These are the first increases in heavily-subsidised petrol prices in the OPEC member for almost two decades.

The oil-rich Gulf state liberalised the prices of diesel and kerosene in January 2015 and revises their prices monthly.

Kuwait is the last country among the energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council states to increase the price of petrol.

Other GCC members - Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - have either completely liberalised fuel prices or raised them substantially because of the sharp fall in oil income since mid-2014.

The Kuwaiti cabinet said a government committee will revise the new petrol prices every three months depending on international oil prices.

In April, parliament approved a government-sponsored bill to raise electricity and water prices paid by foreign residents and businesses, but exempted citizens.

This increase - the first in almost 50 years - will take effect from September next year.

Kuwait has posted a budget deficit of $18.3 billion in the past fiscal year, according to provisional figures, following 16 years of windfall due to high oil prices.

It is projecting a deficit of $29 billion in the current 2016/2017 fiscal year.

The emirate is home to 1.3 million native citizens and around three million foreigners.

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