Venezuela Raises Petrol Prices, Mandates Support for Petro at Gas Stations
Venezuela is endowed with natural resources that its state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, is pegged one-to-one with a barrel of oil. Surprisingly, oil is scarce. Often, citizens scramble to fill up their car tanks after queuing for days. Therefore, the decision by the Maduro-led government on May 31, 2020, to raise gas prices for private vehicles to $0.02 per liter payable in Petro ushers a new era after years of subsidies that made petrol near free.
Petro Will Be Accepted Across All Gas Stations
A rollout that will see the Petro accepted as a means of payment via the Monedero Patria in all gas stations has also begun. The Patria wallet, as opposed to the official Petro Wallet, is supported by the Biopago System. It is an identification system developed by Biopago BDV, one of Venezuela’s largest banks.
The US dollar, the Euro, and the local currency, the Bolivar, are also accepted. Decrypt reports that the Patria system is not at the moment compatible with the Petro Wallet, presenting challenges to citizens.
After years of economic sanctions by the United States, Venezuela’s economy is in tatters and the Bolivar, worthless. Ravaged by hyperinflation and crippling sanctions that made it hard for the country to export oil–its lifeline, the government resorted to importing fuel from Iran to restore normal supply. State Governor Laidy Gomez, in May 2019, told Al Jazeera that petrol shortages were a collective catastrophe, highlighting the plight of Venezuelans.
A compromise has also been reached. Though petrol prices have been raised to $0.02 a liter (against the global average of $0.9 a liter), caps have been instituted. Every private car will be allocated 120 liters of gas a month. Even so, government officials will still access fuel for free.
Allocations Made to Citizens With the Fatherland ID
However, citizens without the carnet de la Patria or the Fatherland ID won’t buy gas at $0.02 a liter. Instead, they will be forced to pay $0.5 a liter.
Some Venezuelans have opposed the Fatherland ID terming it dictatorial. The smart ID card is developed by the Chinese telecom giant, ZTE Corp, and is used to track a citizen’s social, economic, and political behaviors.
Later, a mobile payment application will be developed and integrated for use with the card, as reported by Reuters. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has classified ZTE Corp as a risk to national security.
As previously reported by BTCManager, the Maduro-led government made it a focus to make the Petro pivotal in the country’s economy in 2020.