Price Hikes, More Suffering for the People [Archives:2000/33/Front Page]

August 14 2000

Prices of basic foodstuffs shot up this week. The 50kg sack of rice has gone up from YR 4500 to YR 6200, the 50kg bag of sugar from YR 1800 to YR 3000.
An official source said the increase in the rice and sugar prices was just temporary due to the situation of supply and demand, claiming that the increase was not made by the government. The source expected that prices will go back to the previous level. However, the Ministry of Oil has increased the price of LPG by YR 20 per cylinder, that is from YR 210 to YR 230.
An economic source said that increase was attributed to the government’s decision to increase prices of some oil products such as kerosene, mozut and gas. The price of kerosene increased last May from $ 19 to $ 22. The price of diesel has also increased from YR 10 to YR 17. However, this has not yet been carried out so far.
The same source added that increasing prices of these stuffs were already included in the government’s reform strategy that was made according to instructions of the World Bank.
On the other hand, the Yemeni Central Bank announced that it had released more than $ 70 million and YR 5 billion from Yemen- based banks money reserves. An official source added that that step was to reduce the interest rate and the requirements of the compulsory reserves. The bank has announced the reduction of interest rate to 13% and the compulsory reserves from 20% to 10% on dollars and from 15% to 10% on riyals.