Prime minister holds press conference on fuel prices hike

The government raised the prices of all types of gasoline, natural gas and automotive gas starting Thursday morning, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said in a press conference on Thursday with the minister of petroleum, head of the Central Bureau of Statistics and the deputy minister of finance in attendance.

Ismail said that fuel subsidies last year exceeded LE85 billion. Fuel subsidies during the current fiscal year, which ends on Thursday, June 30, reached LE110 billion despite the economic reformatory measures taken in November 2016, he added.

If the government had not taken the decision to increase fuel prices, subsidies would have reached LE 150 billion in the next year’s budget, which would have affected the health and education budgets, according to the prime minister.

He described the decision to increase fuel prices as the “correction of the path of energy subsidies.”

Saved money from reducing fuel subsidies will be used to raise wages by 7 percent for those addressed by the Civil Service Law, and by 10 percent for those not addressed by the law, said Ismail.

The increase in fuel prices is part of the economic reform program applied by the government, said Ismail.

The government targets reducing the budget deficit to stand at 10.8 percent this year, and next year it targets 9.2 percent. It also aims to reduce the public debt to 95 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GPD) , he added.


Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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