Gulf News was able to learn that the Sultanate of Oman will cut fuel subsidies beginning next year.

An official from the Ministry of Finance confirmed the reduction will be gradual in order to ensure that the public will not suffer from the move.

The savings from the cuts will go directly towards the establishment of economic projects as well as efforts to curb fuel smuggling, according to media reports.

Oman’s elected Shura Council was not notified of the move when it was in session, Ali Al Badi, the vice-president of the economic committee of the Shura Council, told Gulf News.

Al Badi however insisted that most of the Shura members will support the government’s drive to cut the fuel subsidy with oil prices plummeting to around $45 per barrel.

He also stressed the need to taking into consideration the social security of families who will get affected by the subsidy cut.

According to Arabian Business, a study conducted by Oman’s Chamber of Commerce found that up to 68.7% of professionals from various business and government sectors opposed the move, with only 18% in favour.

Oman’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohammad Al Ruhmi, had said that low oil prices are costing Oman up to $55m (OMR21.1m) per day.

Darwish Al Beloushi, the Minister responsible for Financial Affairs, explained that the Omani government is likely to start cutting fuel subsidies this year in reaction to low oil prices.

Al Beloushi believes that people will be more understanding as the country’s natural resources are being overused.