Energy Minister Jebran Bassil reiterated a proposal to adopt alternative options concerning the lingering world oil prices, which are becoming a daily burden on citizens, An Nahar newspaper reported on Friday.
“These alternative solutions help citizens save around LL15,000 in gas prices, LL7,000 in gasoline prices, and would cost the treasury less,” he told the daily.
Bassil expressed regret as the parliament is halting the discussions on the matter.
“People in Lebanon don’t take actions until the crisis heats up,” the minister stressed.
Head of the public drivers syndicate Bassam Tleis called for a strike on April 19 to protest the government’s failure to set a ceiling for rising fuel prices.
According to the daily, Bassil sent a memorandum to President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Miqati and Speaker Nabih Berri asking them to approve the two draft-laws.
“The first draft law concerning cars that operate on gas saves around 40 percent, while the other draft-law that allows cars to operate on diesel saves around 20 percent” on citizens, he noted.
An Nahar said that Berri tasked State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nicolas Fattoush to supervise the matter in the parliament, and demanded head of the legislative energy committee MP Mohammed Qabbani to “add the discussions of the two draft-laws to the agenda of the joint parliamentary committees as soon as possible.”
World oil prices are approaching last year's highs because of world fears that the growing confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program will crimp oil supplies.
Iran is the world's third-largest crude supplier.
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