Algeria Ratifies 2016 Budget Despite Opposition

Amid brawls and insults, the Algerian parliament on 30 November ratified the draft 2016 budget law, which will see increases in domestic prices of gasoline, diesel, gas and electricity in a bid to cope with a falling hydrocarbons revenue. These increases will be the first in more than a decade to affect the country’s subsidized prices.

While full details of the price hikes are still sketchy, gasoline prices will rise to AD29.6 ($0.27)/liter from AD23.6 ($0.22)/liter, while diesel will increase slightly to AD14/liter from AD13/liter. Domestic energy prices are very low by international standards. Also VAT on electricity and natural gas rates will rise from the current 7% to 17%, and 3G telecoms services will be subjected to VAT. The law also opens the way for the privatization of state companies. (CONTINUED - 303 WORDS)