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Economy & Business - April 2022

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

PARAGUAY | Fuel prices rise after subsidies overturned. On 12 April, Paraguay’s state oil company Petróleos Paraguayos (Petropar) announced that it would be increasing its petrol and diesel prices, after congress repealed a bill authorising fuel subsidies. The bill had been introduced, and initially approved, in March following widespread protests against rising fuel prices, during which truckers, taxi drivers, and motorcycle delivery drivers erected roadblocks across the country. After the government led by President Mario Abdo Benítez mooted taking out a US$100m loan to extend the subsidies, congress voted to repeal the law on 11-12 April, amid arguments that the subsidies were not sustainable in the long run and distorted the market. “The elimination of the law which allowed us to sell below cost price has forced us to make this decision,” Denis Lichi, Petropar’s president, said of the fuel price increase, which affected two types of diesel and three types of petrol. Petropar has said that its prices remain low compared with the last price hike on the local market.   

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