DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syria’s Internal Commerce Ministry announced a petrol price hike of around 130 per cent in the war-torn country facing fuel shortages and extended power cuts.
The cost of a litre of subsidised fuel will rise to SYP2,500, from SYP1,100 previously, a rise of 127 per cent, the ministry said in a statement quoted by the official SANA news agency.
The cost of non-subsidised petrol will rise from SYP3,500 to SYP4,000, the ministry added.
The increases represent the third time this year that authorities have increased the price of fuel, as the Syrian pound continues to depreciate.
Syria’s currency is trading at around 4,250 to the dollar on the black market, compared to an official rate of 2,814.
“This measure will hit everyone,” said warehouse worker Raed al-Saadi. “Our salary is now only enough to get us to the workplace, and not even enough to get us home again.”
“Life has become very difficult and I don’t where this situation will lead us,” the 48-year-old added.
Since the outbreak of war in 2011, Syria’s oil and gas sector has suffered losses amounting to tens of billions of dollars.
The economy has been hit hard by both the long-running war and sanctions imposed against Damascus.
A United Nations commission in March called for a review of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime because of concerns that the measures were hitting ordinary people too hard.
The conflict in Syria started in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful protests and escalated to pull in foreign powers and global extremists.
It has killed some 500,000 people and displaced around half of the country’s pre-war population.