FNC wants lower petrol prices in UAE

At Tuesday’s FNC session, Hamad Al Rahoomi, a member for Dubai, will tell Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei that the 60 per cent fall in crude oil prices has not been reflected domestically in the price of fuel.
An Eppco worker pumps petrol at a service station, but the fall in global oil prices has not trickled down to the UAE. Sarah Dea / The National
An Eppco worker pumps petrol at a service station, but the fall in global oil prices has not trickled down to the UAE. Sarah Dea / The National

ABU DHABI // The plunge in oil prices needs to be reflected in the local cost of petrol, according to a Federal National Council member.

At Tuesday’s FNC session, Hamad Al Rahoomi, a member for Dubai, will tell Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei that the 60 per cent fall in crude oil prices has not been reflected domestically in the price of fuel.

Three years ago the FNC raised the issue of high petrol costs – petrol in the UAE is the most expensive among GCC states – and asked the Government to lower pump prices in line with other GCC countries.

Petrol prices in the US are rapidly falling to those in the UAE. Ninety-five octane fuel sells in the UAE for Dh1.72 a litre, compared with Dh1.92 in the United States.

Mr Al Rahoomi said global prices were down but inflation was continuing and he could not understand why fuel costs had not decreased.

“We asked for prices to be lowered back when [crude oil] prices were high, so why is it not lowered now?” he said. “Now that prices are down 60 per cent, is it justifiable why domestic costs have not decreased as well?”

He said local production was suffering, as imports were coming in at lower costs.

“I’m not just talking about the high costs of filling your car, but greater things, including the costs of manufacturing, which have not reduced,” he said.

“When petrol prices go up, the price of everything else goes up, but when the price went down why did nothing else go down? This is a very abnormal situation – one I would like the minister to respond to.”

The Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash, is scheduled to attend the session which will focus on labour policies, with fresh calls on the need to ensure Emiratis’ salaries in the private sector are subsidised by the Government. Mr Al Rahoomi also plans to ask what the requirements are for a security guard to get a work permit, and whether they need any prior experience.

“The person coming from their country might not be properly educated,” he said.

“They should at least have a police or security background. You cannot just bring someone on an Dh800 wage and ask them to stand outside the bank in uniform or outside a shopping mall.”

Sultan Al Shamsi (Sharjah) wants to ask the minister about employment of women in cafes at night and in dangerous professions, or those that are harmful to their health or reputations.

Other members who plan to question the minister over labour issues include Mosabeh Al Kitbi (Sharjah), Ahmed Al Mansoori (Dubai) and Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman). The public session will be held at the FNC headquarters in Abu Dhabi, starting at 9am.

osalem@thenational.ae

Published: February 1, 2015 04:00 AM

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