The General Federation of Oman Trade Unions has reportedly urged the government to consider introducing fuel stamps to help those struggling with price increases.
Times of Oman reports that the federation has called for the government to look into the issue immediately and revise increases that are adversely affecting low income families.
Members of the country’s Majlis Al Shura will also hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss how to lessen the impact of fuel price increases on low earners.
“A rough calculation reveals that almost 60 per cent of workers are earning below OMR400 ($1,039) per month. Out of this, if he is an Omani, he will have to pay OMR25 to social insurance. What else is left then? It is quite hard to survive,” Mohammed Al Farji, a trade unionist with the General Federation of Trade Unions in Oman, was quoted as saying.
“We have urged the government to intensify the economic diversification plan so that it doesn’t depend on fuel revenue. Personally, I feel that introducing fuel stamps for needy people is a good option,” the trade unionist said, adding that the organisation was waiting for a government response.
Members of the country’s Shura Council also discussed a potential price ceiling or fixed annual rate for fuel in recent days after the price of diesel crossed the OMR0.200 mark for the first time.
Oman was one of several Gulf countries to reduce fuel subsidies last year. Similarly to the UAE’s system, the country changes prices on a monthly basis in line with global oil prices, which have increased following last year’s production cap deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries.