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#5001: Haiti Raises Full Prices (fwd)
Saturday September 2 5:12 AM ETE Haiti Raises Fuel Prices
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haiti's government has raised fuel
prices an average of 44 percent, bringing the costs up to world market
prices. At midnight Friday, the price per gallon was raised to $2.67
for premium gas, $2.19 for regular and $1.45 for diesel.
The cost of kerosene, which many use to light their homes during
increasingly long power outages, went up to $1.23.
The government had purchased petroleum products from suppliers at the
market price, then sold them at a fixed price to local distributors.
This year, it lost about $47.5 million to protect consumers from price
fluctuations.``Haiti is in a stranglehold,'' President Rene Preval said
last month when he announced his cash-strapped government was going to
stop the subsidy.Haiti's 8 million people are among the poorest in the
world, with 80 percent living in absolute poverty and more than half the
work force jobless or underemployed. Estimated per capita annual income
is $250 to $400.