Treasury raises gasoline prices by 6 percent

The Finance Ministry announced on Wednesday night a 35 agurot/liter increase in the price of gasoline, to take effect midnight Thursday, which constitutes a 6 percent price rise on what Israeli motorists currently pay. Treasury officials estimate that the move will garner a billion shekels annually to Israel's income, and hope it will keep the state's deficit from growing, in the face of a sharp drop in tax revenues. Since the beginning of 2009, gasoline prices rose by 15% in accordance with rising prices of crude oil and fuel around the world. However, in recent weeks crude oil prices dropped, with the price of a barrel dipping under US$50.