Egypt gas subsidy coupons by year-end
Cairo, October 12, 2012
Egypt will only launch a scheme to cut the fuel subsidy bill that is a quarter of its budget towards the end of this year, a cabinet minister said, later than had previously been suggested.
Local Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen said the government had started printing the coupons for subsidised gas with which it hopes to better target the subsidies to people who need them ahead of the introduction of smart cards.
The government had previously targeted mid-October for the introduction of the coupons, the first stage in a broader reform of energy subsidies. The minister said the coupons would be ready for the start of the winter season; he did not give a precise date but Egypt's winter generally begins in December.
Plans for such a system have long been mooted, even before the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
But the pressure to direct subsidies more effectively and so help cut subsidy costs has become more pressing since then because the budget deficit has ballooned to 11 percent of gross domestic product.
"The government has printed coupons to distribute butagas. These coupons will be distributed to those who need subsidised (butagas) until the implementation of the smart card system. The smart card system is better," the minister told reporters.
The minister said he expected the coupon system to be implemented before winter began.
As it works on economic plans, Egypt is seeking to shore up its finances by negotiating a $4.8 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund and securing support or pledges of aid from Gulf states, Turkey and Western countries.
An IMF deal would reassure investors who want the Washington-based institute's seal of approval on the government's programme to revive the economy.
One part of the programme is likely to be a restructuring of subsidies on petroleum and other energy products.
But analysts say measures to reduce energy subsidies are certain to be unpopular among many Egyptians, some of whom joined the uprising last year because of economic grievances. - Reuters
More Government & Laws Stories
- Galfar ex-CEO gets 15 years' jail over bribes
- New law on family violence on the way in Bahrain
- Four blast suspects are remanded in Bahrain
- Bahrain to step up war on terror
- Norton Rose Fulbright moves London head to Dubai
- DSG ‘ready to implement Smart Dubai Strategy’
- Iraqi women protest new draft law
- Bahrain police 'face more danger in line of duty'
- Saudi names Brotherhood as terrorist group
- Qatar outraged over terror claims
- Bahrain PM condemns exploitation of children
- Qatar will not alter foreign policy: source
- Bahrain accuses Iran of fomenting trouble
- 'Put security before rights' in Bahrain: publisher
- 'Hizbollah trained Daih blast suspect'
- Key terror blast suspects named in Bahrain
- $2.6m Royal Fund for martyrs set up
- Bahrain to draw up new anti-terror laws
- GCC ROW: Qatar voices surprise over envoys pull out
- GCC tobacco tax rise ‘will fuel illicit trade’
- Saudi, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar
- Bahrain explosion draws global condemnation
- GDN photographer hurt in blast is discharged
- Iran playing increasing role in Bahrain unrest
- Bahrain launches 6-point plan to fight terror
- Sisi gives sign he will run for president
- New Saudi clamp on energy drinks
- Health insurance must for Saudi visa
- Qatari doctor gets 7 years jail in UAE
- Family violence law articles approved in Bahrain