SAN CRISTóBAL, Venezuela, Oct. 4 (UPI) — The governor of Venezuela’s Táchira state has said some drivers next week could begin to pay gas stations with Colombian pesos or U.S. dollars.
Táchira Gov. José Vielma Mora said gas stations under the new currency program — aimed at Colombian drivers — will be jointly operated by Colombian companies and Venezuela’s government-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, oil company.
The announcement comes weeks after the regional government reduced the monthly allocated amount of gasoline for private use from about 3 gallons a month to 1.3 gallons, which has led some Venezuelans to stop using their cars or to seek gasoline through third-party gasoline providers at a higher price.
The governor said the gas stations can be paid in Colombian pesos or in U.S. dollars through a pre-paid card that will be handled by currency exchange operators or through public or private banks.
“These are innovations we are moving ahead, because we will strengthen the transport system and currency management,” Vielma Mora told El Nacional.
At least two gas stations in the city of Ureña and one in San Antonio will operate under the new program possibly starting next week but up to six could be involved in the future, Vielma Mora said, adding that the program should use the same tariff rates currently used.
Venezuela is undergoing a political crisis in which the opposition is seeking to recall President Nicolas Maduro and an economic crisis in which basic goods such as food and medicines are in short supply, unavailable or unaffordable.