DOHA: Local petroleum products distributor, Woqod, yesterday washed its hands of the recent decision to hike diesel prices and put the blame for the increase on the government.
The government provides subsidy on diesel so it ordered a hike in its prices, according to senior Woqod (Qatar Fuel) officials.
The subsidy provided by the state is to the extent of 70 percent. This is after the price hike. Before it, the subsidy was even higher: 80 percent.
(This means that the market retail price of diesel per litre should actually be QR5, but it is QR1.50 for motorists and for local companies). Woqod officials told the Central Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday that the decision to raise the price of diesel (from QR1 per litre to QR1.50 from May 1) was made by the Ministry of Energy and Industry and Ministry of Finance.
“Our job is to merely implement such decisions and monitor the market,” a senior Woqod official told the CMC, which invited Woqod officials to discuss the impact of diesel price hike on general inflation.
The officials pointed out that due to the smuggling of the precious fuel (diesel), the government loses billions of riyals.
And that is why Woqod has set up a committee. Its aim is to fight diesel smuggling. The committee is led by Woqod and on it are representatives from the interior ministry and the customs departments.
CMC members earlier lambasted Woqod and said the impact of the increase in diesel prices was massive on Qatari companies as well as on the farming and fishing communities. Qatari companies had quoted rates for various contracts based on lower diesel prices, so now they are suffering huge losses, CMC members said, urging the government to further subsidize the fuel for these companies as well as for the farmers and fishermen.