Oman’s Minister for Financial Affairs Darwish al-Balushi on 4 August – and in line with recent IMF recommendations (see left) – said Muscat was considering the revamping of subsidies on gasoline and diesel. At the recommendation of the Shura Council, a panel has been set up entrusted with the task of ensuring that subsidies target the deserving income groups, rather than all sectors of society under the present system.

Mr Balushi says that current product prices are low because they were set when the international oil price was as low as $25/B in the 1980s. Since then no changes were made to adjust domestic fuel prices except for diesel in 2006, despite the fact that international oil prices have risen sharply at least four times, he notes. (CONTINUED - 287 WORDS)