Monday, June 5, 2017

Egypt sets $8bln for fuel subsidies in FY 2017-18 budget - ZAWYA / REUTERS

05 JUNE, 2017
Reporting by Eric Knecht; Editing by Ahmed Aboulenein/Mark Heinrich

CAIRO, June 5 (Reuters) - Egypt has allocated 145 billion Egyptian pounds ($8 billion) for fuel subsidies and 80 billion pounds for electricity subsidies in its budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year beginning in July, the cabinet said on Monday.

The cost of fuel imports has soared since Egypt floated its pound currency in November, prompting it to halve in value against the dollar within weeks.

The government spent 78 billion pounds on fuel subsidies in the first nine months of the 2016-17 fiscal year, up from 41 billion in the same period of the previous year.

In November, Egypt signed a $12 billion, three-year IMF loan deal tied to sweeping economic reforms including subsidy cuts.

The International Monetary Fund said last month it supported a plan for Egypt to remove fuel subsidies entirely within three years but that the timing of any price hike was up to the government.

The government has not yet set a timeline for the next round of price increases. 

($1 = 18.0700 Egyptian pounds)