CAIRO – Egypt’s cabinet approved on Thursday a rise in fuel prices, ranging from 40 to 50 percent for gasoline and 100 percent for natural gas, as part of the measures to reduce public deficit.
The state news agency MENA reported that the price of a gas cylinder went from 15 EGP (about $0.8) to 30 EGP ($1.66), while the cheapest gasoline, octane 80, rose 50 percent and octane 92 rose 40 percent.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail estimated that the impact of the measure on inflation, which is its highest levels in three decades, will be around 4 to 5 percent.
Egypt’s oil minister Tarek al-Mawla told reporters that the government’s plan to withdraw fuel subsidies, which cost around $8 billion a year, will be implemented soon.
The withdrawal of subsidies is one of the commitments made last year by the Egyptian government with the International Monetary Fund to receive a loan used to cover the public deficit.
Under that plan, Egypt liberalized the Egyptian pound exchange rate last November, which led the currency to depreciate by around 100 percent, which has had an impact on inflation since Egypt imports the majority of the products that it consumes.
Last December, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called on citizens, investors, businessmen and merchants in the Arab country to support the government during the economic crisis.