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Union: Finance Ministry 'mismanagement' could result in fuel crisis

Dec. 31, 2013 12:24 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2013 2:54 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Owners of gas stations across the West Bank may be obliged to shut down their stations due to problems with the Palestinian ministry of finance and the General Petroleum Corporation, the speaker of the union of gas station owners said.

The ministry is “imposing unachievable terms” by stipulating that gas stations pay the Palestinian Authority in cash in advance before they can receive fuel, Ghassan al-Shakaa told Ma’an.

He highlighted that gas station owners had paid the PA 300 million shekels two months ago to help end a financial crisis between the PA and Israeli companies which provide the PA with fuel.

Since the recent crisis began, gas stations have been paying in checks that could be cashed in 15 days, however, the ministry is now asking them to pay in cash before they can receive fuel, added al-Shakaa. This is totally unachievable, he continued.

Al-Shakaa warned of a new fuel crisis in the Palestinian territory as a result of “mismanagement” of by the ministry.

Gas station owners are scheduled to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. They could decide to shut down their stations or take the case to court, says al-Shakaa.

He confirmed that the Israeli providers started to reduce supplies to the West Bank.
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