Thursday, 21 March 2013

House delays debate over fuel pricing

AMMAN — A House majority on Wednesday voted to postpone deliberations on the government’s decision to raise the prices of oil derivatives until the government presents its policy statement. Lawmakers said they will also wait until the government works out a new oil pricing mechanism at the end of this month, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. Several MPs have expressed dissatisfaction with a recent government decision to hike the prices of fuel in tandem with a rise on international markets. They have threatened to vote “nay” when the government of Abdullah Ensour seeks the Chamber’s confidence. Ensour was widely criticised for an unprecedented decision to raise the prices of oil derivatives as part of an economic correction plan to address a widening budget deficit. The November decision triggered widespread protests and riots. Observers and officials say that a rise in electricity prices is inevitable on the backdrop of huge losses by the National Electric Power Company blamed on interruptions in the Egyptian gas supplies. Ensour is in the process of forming his ministerial team, the first parliamentary government in decades. Also on Wednesday, the Lower House held a session to examine the government’s standing on several issues, during which deputies raised questions on services provided for citizens, rights of Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails among other issues, according to Petra.


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