Central Bank of Syria at Saba' Bahrat Square, Damascus Source of the photo: www.en.wikipedia.org

On July 11th, 2021, the Syrian government has doubled the price of bread and tripled the price of diesel throughout the territories under its control, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

In efforts to counter the economic crisis that has gripped the country over the last years, Syrian authorities have announced an increase in the prices of bread and fuel.

In a price list published by SANA, a liter of diesel fuel now costs 500 Syrian pounds ($0.40) in comparison to the 180 pounds ($0.14) customers previously paid. The price of bread subsidized by the authorities doubled to 200 pounds ($0.16), which, according to the state Syrian Foundation for Bakeries, was increased because of the rise in fuel prices.

The decision comes days after Damascus announced a 25 % increase in the price of petrol.

The price hikes coincided with a decree issued by President al-Assad on July 11th, 2021, that increases public sector salaries by 50 % and sets the minimum wage at 71,515 Syrian pounds per month ($28 at the official rate), up from 47,000 pounds ($18).

About 80 % of Syria’s hydrocarbon needs are purchased from abroad using foreign currency said Mustafa HASWIYA, of the state-run Syrian Company for the Storage and Distribution of Petroleum Products.

It was necessary to raise prices in order to reduce the import bill,” he said.

According to an economist in Damascus who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the government will continue to raise prices as the crisis deepens. “As long as there is no money entering the treasury, the price increases will continue,” he said.

The pro-government Al-Watan daily on Sunday said the diesel fuel rise will lead to “an increase in the price of transportation within and across provinces” by more than 26 %. The agriculture and industrial sectors will also see production costs rise, it noted. The cost of heating homes will also climb by 178 %, according to Al-Watan.

The latest price hikes came nearly two weeks after the government in neighboring crisis-hit Lebanon raised fuel prices by more than 35 % to combat shortages that authorities there blame in part on smuggling to Syria.

This article was edited using the data from Aljazeera.com, English.alarabiya.net, Thearabweekly.com and, English.aawsat.com

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