The Syrian government cannot persist with its policy of subsidizing petroleum product prices indefinitely, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Sulaiman ‘Abbas, warned in a TV interview on 15 March.

Instead he favors the replacement of subsidies with a mechanism to disburse cash handouts to a targeted group in need of assistance. Mr ‘Abbas added that the withdrawal of subsidies will help to stop the smuggling of cheap products, such as fuel oil and gasoline, to markets in neighboring countries where prices are higher. (CONTINUED - 758 WORDS)