End of one penny gasoline in Venezuela?
Historically speaking, Venezuelans are very dependent on their cars and during pre crisis days, it was common for families to have multiple vehicles and drive long distances to and from work.
Venezuela is home to the cheapest automobile fuel in the world thanks to the country’s heavy subsidy policy. However, with President Nicolas Maduro in dire straits to raise revenue in the face of the country’s five-year economic crisis, could raising the price of petrol be one way out of this ever-growing dilemma?
While the average per-liter-price of gasoline in Venezuela is currently one bolivar for Regular and six bolivars for High-Octane (both being less than one U.S. penny), the average price on the international market is US$1.10 per liter (est. March 6, 2019).
PDV gas station, subsidiary of state-owned oil company PDVSA (source: Shutterstock)
The ID Card
According to Maduro, not all Venezuelans will be impacted by increased prices. Those who have a government-issued license – a special type of ID card – will continue to receive direct fuel subsidies for approximately two years.
Last year, government data stated that about 16.5 million of the 31.5million citizens had requested the card. Besides fuel discounts, benefits include subsidized food packages and other basic needs. Many Venezuelans, however, have refused to receive this card, claiming that the medium is used to gather information about citizens and watch over them.
"These cards are far from being implemented and nowadays [March 2019], I rarely see them in use," Chaloub told Global Fleet.
"The president's talk on the raising gasoline prices has subsided for now. Due to hyperinflation making banknotes worthless, some people are not using money at all to acquire gasoline," said Chaloub.