BAGHDAD, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Iraq's oil minister said he will increase prices for scarce fuel to keep in line with donor requirements.
Hussein al-Shahristani said he will increase fuel prices by 15 percent next month, Gulf Daily News reports.
Iraq subsidizes fuels costs to consumers.
As part of agreements for loans from the International Monetary Fund as well as relief from debt incurred during the Saddam Hussein regime, Iraq agreed to reduce those subsidies.
The move is controversial since the country suffers from shortages of transportation, heating and cooking fuels. It has gotten to the point that even in Kurdistan, which is semi-autonomous and relatively violent free, citizens are calling into question the ability of the central government, Kurdistan Regional Government U.S. envoy Qubad Talabani, told UPI in a recent interview.
The low prices for fuel are believed to motivate a massive and growing smuggling ring, purchasing cheap oil products and selling them abroad at non-discount rates.
Gasoline has increased from 20 dinars to 300 dinars per liter now.