File - Libyan army soldiers stand guard in a petrol station in the capital Tripoli on December 14, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA)
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Libya plans to limit the costly subsidies its citizens enjoy when buying fuel – much of which is smuggled into Tunisia for resale at higher prices – by introducing a "smart card" system like one newly implemented in neighboring Egypt.Gasoline and diesel consumption rose by 15 percent between 2012 and 2013, more than the usual 3-7 percent rise.In Libya, what had been a small-scale trade, involving a few cars loaded with gasoline has grown into a smuggling industry run by "gangs" trucking large quantities across its porous borders, Lamin said.Tripoli expects to save 800 million Libyan dinars ($650 million) annually in subsidy costs by cutting out smuggling, growing to around 1.3 billion dinars, after putting caps on subsidized consumption.Libya's neighbor Tunisia, which does not have large oil reserves, attracts a lot of smuggled oil.
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