Tunisia hikes cooking gas and fuel prices in bid to cut subsidies

Tunisia hikes cooking gas and fuel prices in bid to cut subsidies

A worker refuels a car at a gas station in Tunisia, Tunisia, on March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Jihed Abidellaoui.

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TUNISIA, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Tunisia said on Saturday it was raising the price of cooking gas cylinders by 14% and fuel by 3% as part of a plan to cut energy subsidies, a policy change sought by the country’s international creditors.

The Ministry of Energy said the price of cooking gas will rise to 8,800 dinars from 7,750 dinars, the first increase in 12 years.

The price of gasoline will be raised on Tuesday to 2,400 dinars per liter from 2,330 dinars, up 3%, the ministry said.

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The increase in fuel prices is the fourth this year. Tunisia expects its budget deficit to widen to 9.7% of gross domestic product in 2022, compared to previously expected 6.7%, due to a stronger dollar and a sharp rise in grain and energy prices.

The North African country, which is suffering from a severe financial crisis, is trying to agree on a new financing program with the International Monetary Fund.

The energy balance deficit doubled to 6 billion dinars in the first eight months of 2022, compared to 2.9 billion dinars last year due to the effects of the war in Ukraine.

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Reporting by Tarek Amar; Written by Tarek Amar and Moaz Abd-Alaziz; Edited by David Gregorio and Leslie Adler

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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