The government plans to liberalize energy prices over the course of the next five to seven years in an effort to bring them into line with inflationary pressures, Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali said on Monday.
Speaking at a round table discussion organized by UK daily The Financial Times and the British-Egyptian Business Association, the minister declared that Egypt would suffer an energy shortage in the coming five years that would compel the government to boost gas imports so as to meet domestic demand.
“In this case, there will be no difference between local and global prices,” Boutros-Ghali explained.
The ministry has reportedly devised a plan to restructure state subsidies on petroleum products, which cost the government LE67.3 billion in the current fiscal year, according to official figures. This included LE31.9 billion in subsidies for diesel fuel; LE13.2 billion for butane; LE9.9 billion for gas; LE6.9 billion for natural gas; and LE5.2 billion for mazut.
“We must reconsider these energy subsidies so as to generate more funds with which we can subsidize food products,” the minister said.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.