Saudi Arabia's government has approved the "gradual correction of pricing for some energy products", including electricity tariffs, state news agency SPA said on Tuesday, with the move to bring local fuel prices up into line with global benchmarks set to begin in January.
The agency, citing a cabinet statement, said the government had also approved the outlines for a system of financial allowances to help low and middle income households cope with the costs of its economic reforms such as removing subsidies on fuel prices.
The statement gave no details of the new fuel prices or the financial allowances approved.
A separate statement by the Saudi Electricity and Co-generation Regulatory Authority said the changes would be applied from January 1.
Industry sources said in March that Saudi Arabia may increase its domestic gasoline prices by 30% from July, but the move had apparently been delayed.
In December 2015 the kingdom raised the price of 95 octane gasoline to 0.90 riyals per litre from 0.60 riyals.
An official source said on Monday that the kingdom's government was planning to announce the launch of the system of financial allowances to help low- and middle-income households cope with the costs of economic reforms on Tuesday.
The government originally said last December that it planned to introduce such a system. Reforms such as fuel price hikes and changes to public sector salaries and allowances have reduced the disposable incomes of many households, and more such reforms are on the way as the government strengthens its finances in an era of low oil prices.
In its December statement, the government said it would pay the allowance directly to households in cash, and that the first payment would be made before the next hike in energy prices.