The High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a petition from leading fuel
companies to prevent the government from reducing marketing margins, a key
component in the price of gasoline.
Delek, Dor Alon and Paz had asked the
court to cancel directives issued by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Energy
and Water Minister Uzi Landau over the past two years that reduced the marketing
margin to its current value of NIS .645 per liter.
The price of one liter
of self-service 95-octane gasoline, which is NIS 7.58 in November, is set by the
Energy and Water Ministry according to the following components: the cost of oil
(NIS 2.84 in November); excise tax (NIS 2.99); marketing margins (NIS 0.65);
plus 17 percent VAT on the three aforementioned components.
Jubran, Uzi Fogelman and Noam Solberg wrote in their ruling: “At the heart of
the petition – if we strip it of its clothing – stands an attempt by the
petitioners to convince us that we should favor their professional opinion on
these controversial issues over the opinions of the state’s Price Committee...
We are unable to do so.”
The Price Committee, whose recommendations
formed the basis for the ministers’ decision, conducted a thorough and
comprehensive study before handing in its findings, the judges wrote.
long as the committee operates within the legal boundaries in which it was
established, the court cannot overrule its decisions, they added.