Egypt expects fuel subsidies to rise to $13b

23 Jun 2010

(MENAFN) Egypt’s Oil Minister, Sameh Fahmy, expects its fuel subsidies bill to widen to $13 billion in fiscal 2010/11, up from $11.97 billion in 2009/10, Reuters reported.

The minister said that subsidies in petroleum and natural gas products have grown to unsustainable levels, which form a significant burden on the petroleum sector. Fuel in Egypt is subsidized before it reaches the pump, meaning the discounted price is available to all. In contrast, subsidies for basic food items are only accessible to eligible Egyptians.

Fahmy pointed out that subsidies drain all the sectors’ revenues, saying that the government wants the subsidies to reach those who deserve them most and the rich do not need them.

He said that the country is planning to restructure the subsidies program, but did not disclose provide further details.

Last month, Finance Minister, Youssef Boutros-Ghali, said that Egypt would adjust its energy subsidies in the coming fiscal year upward by $5.6 billion without affecting the overall budget deficit.

Late 2009, Prime Minister, Ahmed Nazif, said that the subsidy program would be tightened to target the poor and rein in costs.

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