BEIRUT — The head of Lebanon’s fuel importers union on Wednesday demanded an “hourly” official fuel price scale as the lira’s value fluctuates rapidly on the market.
The Energy Ministry sets the official fuel prices in Lebanon, issuing thrice-daily updated lists to keep pace with the exchange rate.
At a press briefing in Beirut Wednesday, union head Maroun Chammas called for the change and proposed using a recently developed Energy Ministry mobile application meant to display the lira-to-dollar exchange rate. Similar apps already available for mobile phone users are "non-transparent," he said.
Chammas also suggested implementing two types of gas pumps in the stations — one priced in dollars and another in Lebanese lira at the market rate — as an alternative if the hourly price updates or mobile application fail to launch.
Fuel importers gave Energy Minister Walid Fayad, who is currently traveling abroad, several days to respond to the demands, Chammas said, without clarifying further.
Many gas station owners have in recent days said they deem the ministry’s thrice-daily price updates insufficient. As the lira dropped to an all-time low of LL140,000 to the dollar Tuesday, some of them closed for the day. Lines of motorists formed at the pumps that remained open.
On Wednesday morning, the prices of all fuels decreased sharply, while the lira bounced back to around LL106,000 against the dollar on the market.