Ma'an News Agency
September 30, 2012 - 11:00pm
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=524852


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Finance announced Sunday that fuel prices are set to be reduced, a statement said.

The price cuts, which will be implemented on Oct. 1, will see a liter of diesel reduced from 6.95 shekels ($1.77) to 6.70 ($1.70). A liter of benzene will now cost 7.60 shekels ($1.93), down from 7.98 shekels ($2), and a 12kg canister of domestic-use gas will be reduced to 64 shekels ($16), down from 65.

In early September, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced that fuel prices would be cut from October. The measures were part of a package to alleviate the economic crisis which had pushed Palestinians to the streets to protest the rising cost of living.

Fayyad, who also held the finance minister post until earlier this year, had emerged as a focus of the protests, but demonstrators have also demanded that the Paris Protocol agreement signed with Israel in 1994 be amended.

The Protocol gave Israel sole control over Palestine's external trade, and collection of customs duties, allowing the state to serially hold back this revenue as punishment for Palestinian political measures, such as the bid for UN membership.

It also pegs VAT to Israeli tax rates, currently at 17 percent, despite the huge disparity in average Palestinian and Israeli incomes.




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