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Proposed Gasoline Increases

The biggest news this year (thus far) is President Evo Morales canceled his efforts to sharply raise fuel prices. The government had announced that it was raising gasoline prices by 73 percent, to 92 cents a liter ($3.48 a gallon), up from 50 cents ($1.89).  The proposed price hike would raise diesel gasoline by nearly 90% to 97 cents a liter ($3.67 a gallon) from about 50 cents. The prices had been fixed for the last six years but according to government officials, Bolivia has been paying an estimated $380 million a year to subsidize gasoline imports. The proposed sharp rise in gasoline costs prompted protests that hobbled transit in many cities and eventually led to the government rescinding its efforts.

Despite popular opinion being against the increases, Evo stated that the government still intends to raise gasoline prices. However according to Vice-President Alvaro Garcia any new price hike “will come in consultation with the Bolivian people. … Together we will prepare for dialogue.”

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