NDP official: Energy subsidy reductions still subject to debate

The notion of lifting subsidies on energy products remains subject to discussion and debate among representatives of various ministries within the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP)’s energy committee, according to a senior party official who requested anonymity.

The official went on to note that the adoption of any resolution related to petroleum products was "not up to the government alone," but also had "political dimensions requiring deliberation by several bodies" before it could be decided by the country’s political leadership.

NDP Energy Committee Chairman Ali el-Saidy said the government was proceeding with its plan to "liberate" energy prices based on a scheme approved in 2008, which will target energy products used by the industrial sector. He went on to note the rise in electricity and gas prices for high-energy-consumptive industries over the past two years.

Although the committee is still in the process of studying all issues related to energy subsidization, it is also focusing on proposed rationing measures and alternative energy sources, el-Saidy added.

Meanwhile, an official source at the Ministry of Petroleum has revealed that a recent NDP study on Egyptian energy policy in the coming five years supports the government's stated policy of reducing energy subsidies, which, he said, eat up most of the country's petroleum revenue.

Petroleum ministry statistics indicate a surge in the cost of total energy subsidies within the past decade to a current LE373 billion.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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