Oman has begun testing a fuel subsidy card system to help low earners cope with price increases.
Times of Oman cited the Ministry of Oil and Gas as confirming it was “testing the readiness” of the system after pictures of cards issued by Shell were circulated on social media.
In February, Oman’s Council of Ministers ordered the freezing of the price of M91 fuel at 186 baisas a litre due to concerns rising prices were negatively impacting low earners and increasing the cost of goods.
This followed the country’s removal of fuel subsidies and the linking of prices to global oil movements last year as part of the government’s austerity measures.
The card would allow families in the low income group to purchase discounted fuel.
“A technical committee that has been charged with studying and determining oil products prices, in cooperation with marketing companies in the Sultanate, has also been testing the readiness of the electronic card system as one of the options that has been proposed for the National Subsidy Project for some segments of society, as a result of changing oil prices,” the ministry said.
Although it added that no mechanism “as of yet has been adopted for the subsidy programme”.
The fuel price freeze is expected to be lifted once a subsidy system is in place.