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Fuel subsidies decline 65% in Egypt

Fuel crisi in Egypt [File photo]
Fuel crisis in Egypt [File photo]

The Egyptian government's subsides for fuel products dropped by 65 per cent in the first nine months of the current fiscal year 2019/2020, Reuters reported.

Subsidies for fuel products recorded an annual decline of around 21 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.3 billion), an officer in the Ministry of Petroleum told Reuters.

Last year, fuel subsidies cost the government 60.1 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.83 billion).

Earlier this month, reports emerged that the Egyptian government was considering a bill aimed at raising the rates of electricity and water in the new fiscal year which starts in July.

In January, the Ministry of Electricity said the government had intended to cut electricity subsidies over a period of five years so as to eliminate them completely by the end of the 2018-2019 fiscal year, but it increased the time span of the cuts by two more years "based on directions from the political leadership".

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The Egyptian government has raised charges for electricity six times since July 2014 and increased water charges four times during the same period.

According to a World Bank report released last year, 60 per cent of Egyptians are either poor or belong to the poorest groups.

The report pointed out that economic decisions, such as lifting subsidies and others, have affected the middle class, which is suffering from the increasing cost of living.

The fiscal year in Egypt begins on the first of July and ends on 30 June in the next year.

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