AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Jordan's government says it has raised the price of fuel used in public transport, sparking calls for protests.
Trade and Industry Minister Shabeeb Ammari says the increase will ease the cash burden caused by Jordan's rising energy costs.
Disruptions in cheap Egyptian gas shipments cost Jordan $7 million per day, the government says, pushing the budget deficit to a record high of nearly $3 billion.
The pipeline that ferries Egyptian natural gas to Israel and Jordan has been blown up more than a dozen times over the past year by militants in Egypt's Sinai desert, stopping shipments.
Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood and leftist opposition responded to the price hike Wednesday with calls for protests, complaining that the rise will further stress low income citizens.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)