The price of natural gas and LP gas is increasing but will continue to be subsidized for domestic use. The government order to allow prices to be determined by the international market was announced Thursday and could have a major impact on manufacturers and some businesses.
“The move to market prices is a first step in reducing subsidy that costs the government hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” says energy minister Carlos Pérez. “We will, however, maintain the subsidy for household use of LP gas as part of our commitment to protect our poorest and most vulnerable citizens.” The price of domestic gas is set at $2 per cylinder although private distribution companies add a delivery charge.
The announcement is one of Ecuador’s first steps in complying with International Monetary Fund (IMF) requirements that the country reduce fuel subsidies. Ecuador will receive $11 billion in loans through a package negotiated through the IMF.
Tram will not begin service while Cabrera is mayor
The outgoing city government has conceded that the tram will not be operational before the new government takes office May 15.
“There are several outstanding issues with the tram system that remain to be resolved and this will not happen with the current administration,” tram director Jaime Guzmán said Wednesday. “We are working with the new government of [mayor-elect] Pedro Palacios to ensure a smooth transition and we expect the tram will be running within a matter of weeks.”
According to Guzmán, the municipal council must agree on tram fare, most likely 35 cents or 40 cents, since it will determine the subsidy that the government will contribute to system operations. In addition, he says a dispute between the city and contractor ACTN must be resolved before the system can officially be handed over to the city.
The city continues its negotiations with bus companies about routes that will be changed or eliminated when the tram begins service but these will not delay the start of public operations, Guzmán says.
He added that he believes that the system would be fully functional by the end of May or early June.
Good news for Cajas hikers
ETAPA is distributing 40,000 maps with updated information on watershed development and points of interest. The maps are available in iTur information offices throughout the city.
Included in the tri-fold map is information on lake systems, data on the largest lagoons, major elevations, recreation areas, and available comfort services in the park. Many of the shorter trails are cushioned with recycled material and all of the trails have updated signage.
The Toreadora Interpretation Center at the park’s headquarters has also installed internet access to download additional information and trail maps.