Erbil taxi drivers block main road protesting fuel shortage


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SULAIMANI —Taxi drivers in Erbil blocked Erbil-Koya Road protesting the shortage of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)-subsidized fuel on Tuesday (June 21), NRT reporter Hersh Qadir said. 


The KRG has been distributing gasoline at the subsidized price of 690 Iraqi dinars ($0.47) for taxis and buses and 800 Iraqi dinars ($0.54) for private vehicles. 


Protesting taxi drivers told NRT that they could not get the subsidized gasoline at the dedicated gas stations. 


They said there were six gas stations in Erbil dedicated to providing gas to taxi drivers, but that number was reduced to four, and now another gas station has shut off its pumps, leaving them with no options but buying the higher-priced gasoline. 


The price of gasoline has increased significantly in the Kurdistan Region since the winter, which has caused frustration for drivers. 


Based on the quality, one litre of gasoline is sold for 1,300 to 1,450 Iraqi dinars (approximately $0.89 to $1). 


Taxi drivers have been protesting against fuel shortages and high prices in other provinces of the Kurdistan Region, including Sulaimani and Duhok.


(NRT Digital Media)