Long queues have formed at petrol stations due to shortages © JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images
Long queues have formed at petrol stations due to shortages © JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images

Diesel import controls lifted so factories can run

20 July 2021

Industries in the Lebanon will be able to import diesel directly as a fuel shortage worsens, according to reports.

The move, announced by caretaker industry minister Imad Hoballah, would effectively remove government subsidy for the fuel.

Following a meeting with president Michel Aoun to tackle the problem of diesel shortages at factories, Hoballah said industrialists would be able to directly import diesel and some other petroleum derivatives without permission from the government, which was required to get subsidised fuel, according to Reuters.

Hoballah said: “Subsidies for diesel will stop and we consider it stopped.”

Last month, the World Bank Lebanon Economic Monitor said Lebanon was enduring a severe and prolonged economic depression. GDP is expected to contract a further 9.5% this year after a 20.3% contraction last year, with average inflation at 84.3%.

Businesses across Lebanon have been hit with fuel shortages caused by a collapse of the currency, delayed deliveries and reduction of fuel subsidies, creating long queues at fuel pumps.

The shortages have resulted in power cuts with the owners of private generators, which back up the power grid, warning they are struggling to secure fuel.

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