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Commodities in Kuwait get dearer with surge in petrol prices

In an online poll sought by Arab Times, majority of the voters expressed fears that a steep surge in prices of commodities is likely, with hike in petrol prices just round the corner.

Earlier, it was announced that Kuwait would raise petrol prices for the first time in two decades. The price of low-octane petrol is likely to grow by 41 percent, while high-grade petrol would increase by 61 percent, and low-emission grade of petrol would be raise by 83 percent.

About 74 percent of respondents were wary of the domino effect of petrol price hike. Increase in prices of petrol will drive up logistical costs and make commodities more expensive, said a business owner who spoke to Arab Times. 

This would be significant, as the increase has been implemented in small, gradual increments. To begin with, paying an additional 40 to 60 percent for petrol will be a major blow for consumers. Further, operational costs would add up across industries, and no sector can be insulated from this. There is no limit to the costs companies can absorb. Employees are going to begin asking more money as the expenses shoot up, he explained.

Water and electricity subsidies would be reduced too, while rentals continue to be the same. With increase in tariffs and other expenses, salary should also follow an upward trend, although, unfortunately, it is the only constant in my life, said another respondent.

10 percent of respondents said that they would begin using lower grade of petrol towards the end of the month, when their funds dry up.

However, 12 percent of voters still choose the bright side, pointing out that petrol in Kuwait is still cheaper than in other parts of the world. Kuwait is the last in GCC to increase price of petrol, and is still cheaper than most in the world.

A young professional, who spoke to the media, supported petrol price hike and said that government subsidies are not sustainable with dipping oil prices, and there is wasteful consumption of energy in Kuwait. When thinking about the country’s future, this will help Kuwait as a whole, as we begin to examine our habits and practice more conservationist and efficient outlook going ahead, the young professional pointed out.

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