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The rise in diesel fuel prices and its impact on the public in North and Eastern Syria

| NES | Brussels | Also available In Arabic | 4 Oct, 2021 |

 


What’s New?

The movement of protests on social media and in the city of Qamishli, owing to the continuing deterioration of the economic situation in northern and eastern Syria as a result of the ongoing Syrian crisis and the sanctions imposed on Syria, which have had a negative impact on citizens in the first place.


This has resulted in a lower per capita income level compared to the substantial price of materials and the lack of employment opportunities, Not to mention the lack of this year's agricultural season (cropping season) in Syria, with the majority of the population dependent on cropping season, These circumstances brought back to the fore the resolution /119/ of the Autonomous Administration at 17-05-2021, raising the price of Diesel fuel by up to 300%, which sparked a wave of protests against the decision and led to its retraction by the Autonomous Administration. It has now returned to rise again without any official decision.


How is that important?

Diesel Fuel is one of the main and fundamental materials affecting the livelihood of citizens. By increasing the price of Diesel, the prices of more than 200 items and commodities will increase. this will lead directly to higher prices for transportation and food products manufactured in the factories, which in turn depend on Diesel, as well as higher prices for clothing, since all factories and workshops depend on Diesel, as well as increased transport costs and the shipment of food and medicines, and will therefore be reflected on the consumers, who suffer from the poor economic situation even with the low price of the Diesel Fuel.


The ongoing price hikes will further intensify societal divisions and increase political polarization, contributing to a wave of protests and unrest - which has already happened - and will lead to the relative political instability that exists in northern and eastern Syria.


What public opinion is?

In a survey by TEVIN with the people of North and Eastern Syria, Show that raising Diesel fuel prices fuel is a terrible blow to citizens, especially those with low incomes.

"I believe that those who raised the price of the Diesel fuel are either unaware of the negative and destructive effects of this process on the lives of the citizens or do not feel the suffering, fate, and future of this people, and therefore do not care if the people starve or leave the country without a return."


Most of the opinions indicated that the same type of diesel, which is determined at the price of 150 Syrian pounds, became sold at the price of 410 Syrian pounds. This contradicts some officials' promotion that Diesel fuel at the price of 410 Syrian pounds is a new and imported type.


Some accused the Autonomous Administration of indirectly raising the price of fuel by gas station owners, thereby defending itself and its future repercussions should protest return, If the protests return, they will say that "there was no decision or official circular from us" and They will be linked to the individual behavior of the owners of the (fuel stations), Considering this to be a lack of transparency .


Besides, a type of diesel fuel was sold at the price of /710/ Syrian Pounds, per liter at (Media) Gas station, Qamishli, for two consecutive days, and then returned to the old price of /410/ Syrian Pounds, amidst the non-availability of previous-price banknotes at fuel stations, according to some citizens' testimony to the TEVIN.


Residents of Qamishli believe that the media in areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration cannot publish or announce a single common position on the Autonomous Administration regarding the crazy increase in the price of Diesel fuel for two reasons: The first reason is that there is no official decree published in official forums. The Autonomous Administration asked the concerned authorities to raise the price of diesel, without an announced decision. The other reason is that no one in the Autonomous Administration can talk with the media about this issue.


What is the position of the official authorities?

Abdul Salam Abbas (General Administration of the Fuel Committee in the Al-Jazeera region) stated to TEVIN that there is no new decision regarding fuel, Noting that the prices of gasoline for Autonomous Administration are as follows: Service Diesel Fuel is (75) Syrian Pounds, Industrial Diesel fuel (100) Syrian Pounds, Super Premium (150) Syrian Pounds.


As for Diesel fuel, which is sold at the price of (410) Syrian Pounds., it is a commercial type of fuel, not within the prices set by the Autonomous Administration. It constitutes support and assistance to provide this material, due to the pressure on demand at this time, "because we are distributing heating oil and school allocations."


What are the recommendations?
  • The Autonomous Administration must commit to canceling Resolution 119 and work to provide all kinds of Diesel fuel and must search for sustainable solutions that help provide the needs of citizens.

  • If there is a real need to raise the price of diesel fuel, the Autonomous Administration should explain the reasons to citizens in a transparent way and provide reports and information on incomes and other service projects carried out with these incomes.

  • The Autonomous Administration should not take any fateful decision that affects people's lives, without discussing the decision publicly and through official media before adopting it, and including the opinions of citizens and specialists.

  • The need to support farmers with agricultural materials, and to provide gasoline at low prices and in sufficient quantities at the specified times, addition to factories, workshops, public transportation, and private and public bakeries.

  • Monitoring price increases by intensifying authority supply team tours of markets and shops, holding accountable those who manipulate prices, and all those who monopolize commodities to be held accountable.

  • A mechanism must be established to receive citizens' complaints and follow up on them, and respond to them. Military action must be separated from civilian action, and the military must be prevented from taking any decision concerning the civil administration. Political and military authorities must trust their civilian institutions.


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