DUBAI: Iran will raise this month's cheap gasoline rations for private car owners by 50 litres to 110 litres to mark the Iranian new year, oil ministry news website Shana said on Monday.
Iran has rationed gasoline for private motorists since December 2010 as sanctions on selling fuel to the country and inadequate refinery capacity have limited supplies.
Iranian motorists are usually allowed to take 60 litres of gasoline a month at a heavily subsidised price of 4,000 rials, or around $0.11 per litre at open market rates.
Any additional fuel they buy beyond the 60 litre allowance is usually priced at 7,000 rials ($0.20) a litre, Shana said, adding that the U.S. dollar was currently worth about 35,000 rials on the unofficial free market in Iran.
But smart fuel cardholders will be given another 50 litres on the eve of the Iranian new year on March 20, the start of a two-week period when Iranian motorists hit the road on out of town trips.
Shana said that average daily gasoline consumption in Iran is usually around 63 million litres, but is expected to jump to 100 million litres during the holiday period.
Shana did not say where the extra fuel would come from.
Iran still manages to import some gasoline, despite the Western blockade aimed at pressuring Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme, and has expanded its refining capacity over the last few years. (Reuters)