AMMAN, June 1 (Xinhua) — King Abdullah II of Jordan on Friday ordered a freeze of hikes on prices of electricity and fuel following protests by Jordanians across the country .
Prime Minister Hani Mulki said he sent a letter to concerned ministries to suspend the hikes in prices upon directives by the king for the current month, according to a statement a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua.
Mulki said the decision took into account the economic conditions in Ramadan.
Late Thursday and early Friday, thousands of Jordanians took to the streets to protest the sharp increases in prices of fuel and electricity, calling on the government to step down.
Held near the Prime Ministry in Amman and across the country’s governorates, the protests came after the government announced an increase in prices of electricity and various types of oil derivatives as of June 1 due to a “large rise” in prices of crude oil globally.
The government had decided to increase electricity prices by 23.5 percent since June 1 for all sectors and segments of the population, excluding households that consume 300 kilowatt-hours or less per month.
The government had also announced to increase prices of various types of fuels from June 1 to the end of the month.
Jordan imports 97 percent of its energy needs annually.