Consumer Fuel Consumption Drops in Iran with End of Subsidy

Iranians are consuming 20 percent less fuel since the government began slashing energy and food subsidies earlier this month.

Published: 05-Jan-2011

Iranians are consuming 20 percent less fuel since the government began slashing energy and food subsidies earlier this month, a senior government official said Wednesday, claiming an early sign of success in the controversial program.

Gasoline prices quadrupled and bread prices tripled after the cuts came into effect Dec. 19, part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bid to boost Iran's ailing economy by reducing the massive drain on the state budget from the subsidies.

The so-called economic "surgery" has long been in the works, but was repeatedly delayed over concerns of a repeat of gas riots in 2007 and serious political infighting during the standoff with the West over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

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