Minister of Oil and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Omair reaffirmed the government commitment to pursue decision to cut subsidy for diesel fuel and kerosene.
Speaking to reporters at the National Assembly on Monday, he urged cooperation between the legislators and the government in serving the interests of the citizens.
The minister said the government is open to consultations with MPs on the suggestion to put off the implementation of the decision to cut subsidy for diesel fuel and kerosene.
Asked about the possible emergence of fuel black market as a result of the decision, Dr. Al-Omair said: "The government is fully responsible for preventing any fraudulent activities or illegal manipulation of the oil by-products.
"The market watchdogs play their role in tracking down any unjustified attempt to raise prices or harm the consumers. The Public Prosecution is investigating some cases of smuggling of diesel fuel abroad.
"Everybody knows that the prosecution and the judiciary at large are an independent authority over which the government has no jurisdiction," he said.
The minister noted that the decision to refer to the Public Prosecution the fuel tankers which were intercepted at ports was made under a mandate from the prosecutors.
"The issue of fuel smuggling has security and economic dimensions," Dr. Al-Omair said, noting that there are beneficiaries from subsidy who do not deserve subsidy.
He added that the decision to cut subsidy for aircraft fuel made the price of this fuel in keeping with the global price level.
Regarding the possible hike in petrol prices, he said the government will not make a decision in this regard solely but will create the necessary grounds for it through consultations with MPs.
He recalled that the diesel subsidy cut came a result of proposals by MPs and the parliamentary panel on state funds during the previous legislative term.