Libyan gov’t raises commercial price for kerosene as first step in reforms

Libyan gov't raises commercial price for kerosene as first step in reforms

Libya’s internationally recognised government said on Wednesday it was sharply increasing the price of kerosene for industrial and commercial use as a first step to reform costly fuel subsidies and tackle smuggling.

The price will rise to 0.85 Libyan dinars ($0.6) per litre, which is also the production cost, the economy ministry of the Tripoli-based government said in a decree published online.

The price of kerosene for domestic use would remain at the old level of 0.15 dinars “until the lifting of the in-kind subsidy and its replacement with a cash subsidy for other products like petrol and diesel, which will be issued soon,” it said.

“The aim of this decision is primarily to combat the smuggling of this substance, which is purchased at the subsidised price and smuggled abroad,” the ministry said in an additional statement shared with Reuters.

Oil-rich Libya has some of the world’s most generous fuel subsidies, leading to rampant smuggling within the country and across its borders. The illicit trade has benefited criminal networks that have flourished during years of political and armed conflict since the North African country’s 2011 uprising.