Posted On July 6, 2017 By In None With 116 Views

Egypt cuts electricity subsidies in IMF-backed reform

Cairo, July 6, 2017 (AFP)

Egypt announced a major increase in electricity prices on Thursday as authorities continued to cut government subsidies under an IMF-backed economic reform package.
Electricity Minister Mohammed Shaker said prices would rise by between 18 and 42 percent for household bills starting from this month.
The government is cutting sweeping subsidies as part of a reform programme tied to its three-year $12 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund, which was approved in November.
Shaker told reporters at a press conference that some subsidies remained in place.
“We were supposed to have been completely done with the (electricity) subsidy in the current and next fiscal years,” Shaker said, with the current fiscal year starting on July 1.
“But considering the special situation related to the large increase in the exchange rate, we extended this period to an additional three years.”
Since November, Egyptian authorities have floated the country’s currency, slashed fuel subsidies twice, and adopted a value added tax as part of the programme, which has led to soaring consumer prices.
The value of the pound has since plummeted, with one dollar — worth 8.8 pounds at the official exchange rate in November — now worth more than 17 pounds, while annual inflation reached 30.9 percent in May.

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