The Tunisian government has increased fuel prices for the fourth time in 2018, raising them by about 4% as the government attempts to reduce the budget deficit and meet the financial demands stipulated by foreign lenders, Reuters reported.

The price of one liter of fuel rose to 1.985 Tunisian dinars (DT) ($0.72) from 1.925 DT ($0.70), according to a statement from the Tunisian Ministry of Industry on September 1.

Total fuel subsidies are expected to rise to 4.3 billion DT ($1.55 billion) from 1.5 billion DT ($543 million) due to the rise in global oil prices.

The Tunisian government is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise fuel and electricity prices to offset the increasing expediture and get a grip on the country’s rising budget deficit.

“Staying the course on reducing the fiscal deficit this year and next is critical to stabilise debt and reduce excessive demand for imports given the recent increase in global oil prices,” the IMF stated.