Monday, May 09, 2005

Fuel Price Hikes in Libya

Yes you read right, this happens in an oil rich country as well. Last week we had our petrol prices increased. Benzene went from 11.5 piastres to 15 piastres per litre and engine oil from 130 piastres to 135 piastres a can (thanks DM) a 30% increase some say here but I'm not sure how this is calculated.
I guess we are being slowly weened from the subsidised goodies. The last rise in prices was back in the early 90s. Of course it is still low compared to big oil consuming countries but it is starting to reflect world prices and the 'liberalised' market economy.
Coinciding with this increase, the Ummah Bank has recently issued a prepaid card for refueling at the pump to *gasp* 'spread banking culture' they say, see here .What the heck? Makes us sound like a bunch of morons..I'm seriously offended now! Okay the article has redeemed itself by saying it is basically to get rid of liquid money, but the problem is we don't have much metal coins in Libya as prices are rounded off to the nearest decimal. We do not have the 99p syndrome which we see in the rest of the world. Well since the article was not originally in English I'm going to be magnanimous and asume the translator has botched it and forgive them.

However although this plastic card seems to be popular I am not getting one. I still prefer to be served at the pump.Hey we girls get to sit in the car while the attendant fills the tank and returns the change, guys have to serve themselves. I refuse to come out in that hot sun no way with or without tons of SPF 60 sunblock.

On the other hand our Maltese neighbours have really felt the brunt of high oil prices since last year 'Gone are the days when we bought crude at subsidized prices from Libya' they lament.

Suffering is relative I guess.

7 comments:

khadijateri said...

Libya is getting plastic happy these days - a card for the mobile, a card for the internet, a card for the gas. But a card for electricity and water? When was the last time anyone paid the water bill? In my neighbourhood they put bills on the doors a few years ago and everyone went outside and tore them up and threw them in the street!

It used to be you walked around town and found the place littered with plastic bags - now you find plastic cards littering the sidewalks too. More garbage of another kind - throw away forms of money. Can't we just use real money? At least with a Visa card it goes back in your wallet until you use it again - not get used up and tossed onto the sidewalk. . . sigh . . .

removedalready said...

There was an increase of petrol price as well in Malaysia. A few days back i guess. It used to be 1.4 now it's 1.5 something. So when my tank is empty & thirsty for fuel, it'll cost me RM 52. 1 libyan dinar is equivalent to RM 9 i think so ... you do the math..maybe it's still cheap in Malaysia..I don't know!

Highlander said...

Khadijateri, I guess somebody made a deal with the plastic card making company abroad and now we are stuck with all those things *sigh*. We always paid the water bills even when they left the invoice at the door. In my neighbourhood they have been reinstalling the electricity counter outside the house now so I don't know what they are up to :)I don't like this prepaid electricity card , it won't work in my home or any Libyan home at that, can you imagine all those fridges and freezers and TVs and satellite receivers, electric oil heaters, airconditioners etc....Electricity is supposedly cheap in Libya but that's not the impression I get when that bill arrives whether it is summer or winter.

Red_enclave, if my math is correct it's about the same price but then I'm not an economist.

The Sandmonkey said...

Highlander, isn;t that a good thing? a step in the right direction so to speak? (I am talking about the card thing)Isn't that what the rest of the world is doing anyway? Doesn't that put u ahead of the curve?

Highlander said...

Sandmonkey ever the optimist :) yes it may be a good thing if you put it forth this way I agree. However, the way I see it though is a waste of money. They could have done other more useful schemes for the citizens not pay-as-you-go refuelling, ya3ni khallass we are so advanced that this was the last thing which we needed ;)But then a bank's objective is to make money of course ..

Anonymous said...

Come on my friends. Damned if we did, damned if we didn't.

I hail Umma Bank's effort at providing these services. They are optional you may notice. No body is forced to take up these cards.

DM A former umma bank employee

Highlander said...

DM , because they are optional (thank God)I did say I was not taking them right? ...