Kuwait is studying the possibility of reintroducing the plan to transform motor vehicles to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) instead of petrol or diesel, with the aim of gradually reducing the annual subsidies allocated for fuel, which currently cost the public fund a huge amount of money, reports Al- Anba daily quoting official sources from the oil sector. They revealed that the board members of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) brought up the idea and discussed ways for its implementation, indicating about a high-level interest in completing the studies as soon as possible in order to conduct a survey, determine the amount of money that will be saved from implementing the plan, and specify the types of vehicles that will benefit from this move including public transportation buses, trucks and taxis.
They said Minister of Oil and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Dr Ali Al- Omair issued instructions to the planning sectors of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation to seriously look into the issue and present their reports to the board. The sources explained that the amount spent by the state as annual fuel subsidy will reduce if motor vehicles start operating on LPG. It should be a good way of gradually reducing the subsidy on fuel, especially since propane and butane, which are used in cooking gas, are in abundance in Kuwait.
About 85 percent of LPG is currently being exported to countries where they are used to operate motor vehicles. They went on to explain that LPG will cost lesser than fuel due to the cheaper production cost. It will achieve the objective of economizing because the price of LPG is cheaper than fuel or any petroleum derivatives. Also, vehicles using LPG cause lesser environmental pollution compared to other oil products.
Regarding the cost of transforming the vehicle’s engine to function on LPG, the sources said transforming a petrol engine to LPG engine will cost about $400 (KD 120), adding that special gas stations are not required as the current petrol stations can be used to sell gas cylinders for the vehicles. In other news, the General Traffic Department (GTD) will soon change the design of driving licenses based on the type of vehicle, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. Sources explained this is part of steps being taken to cancel about 37,000 driving licenses of expatriates due to the absence of a file, change of profession or address, and those who left the country years ago but are still registered in the database of the department. Sources pointed out changing the design of driving licenses will be beneficial, such that anyone who has no file for his driving license or obtained the license fraudulently will immediately lose it. Earlier, Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Major General Abdullah Al-Muhanna affirmed many licenses were issued even if the documents were forged. He warned such anomalies will be discovered soon, particularly when the licenses are renewed annually.
He also unveiled a plan to amend the conditions for obtaining a driving license. He said the conditions will be announced officially upon approval of the proposal. He stressed that the ministerial decision on the conditions for acquiring a license is applicable to everyone, indicating the traffic sector is studying the need to regulate use of public licenses and limit it only for large vehicles. Currently, expatriates applying for a license are required to have a valid visa, have resided in the country for at least two years, hold university degrees and drawing a salary of not less than KD 600 per month. Moreover, Al-Muhanna also confirmed completion of a study on increasing fines for grave traffic violations by at least 50 percent. He disclosed the new fine system will be applied upon approval of Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al- Sabah.
SOURCE: ARAB TIMES