Government’s increased diesel prices creates panic among business owners [Archives:2008/1181/Local News]

August 14 2008

By: Saddam Al-Ashmouri
For the Yemen Times

SANA'A, Aug.13 )The diesel crisis has returned once more after the government decided last week in an unannounced decision to raise the price of diesel fuel to over five times the current price, from YR35 to YR 200 per liter.

The resolution's increase of the price per liter of diesel has prompted owners of diesel-fueled companies from bakeries and motor generators to rush to diesel stations to buy more fuel lest it becomes unavailable on the market.

Ahmed Bazara'ah, the head of a steel plant board of directors, said that the iron smelting unit in his factory has stopped due to this last cabinet resolution that raised the price of diesel.

Ahmed Al-Rahimi, a bus owner, said that he was obliged to leave his bus parked indefinitely in front of his house due to lack of diesel and the increased demand for it in the market. He added that many farmers have stopped using their tractors due to the current diesel crisis.

Bakeries in Sana'a may also stop work due to the diesel price hike, according to Yahya Al-Raimi, owner of a local bakery. He said that bakery owners have apprehensions that diesel may be unavailable in the market, especially given that they don't have fuel reserves that can help them to continue operating on a daily basis.

The diesel crisis started in Aden earlier this month, then it spread to the other Yemeni governorates. As a result, the movement of diesel-fueled vehicles and motor generators was restricted.

Owners of diesel fueling stations confirm that there isn't a specific quantity of diesel for every station, and said that they purchase it from the company's branch after they wait in line. “We get 18