Saudi Arabia will see an increase of 50 percent in petrol prices, as a range of subsidies will also be cut, after posting a record budget deficit. Prices will also increase for water, electricity, diesel, and kerosene.
The price for high grade unleaded petrol currently sells for 0.60 Riyals (Rs. 10.61) and the lower grade petrol sells for 0.45 Riyals (Rs. 7.96). Once the price is hiked, petrol will sell for 0.90 Riyals (Rs. 15.92) and 0.75 Riyals (Rs. 13.26) respectively.
Aramco, the national oil conglomerate said on twitter that all petrol stations will close with immediate effect on Monday till midnight, and will resume with new prices. Also, the cabinet has said that the hike in price in inline with international energy prices.
Saudi Arabia is following what the UAE did, which became the first Gulf state to liberalise fuel prices earlier this year. Kuwait also lifted subsidies on diesel and kerosene at the beginning of 2015.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that if Saudi Arabia raises its fuel prices, the country could save USD 17 billion annually.