Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El Molla, stated that Egypt’s fuel subsidies decreased during fiscal year 2015/2016 by 28.7% from the year before, as the country aims to reduce costly energy assistance that consume a large portion of the state budget, reported Reuters.
In August, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation’s (EGPC) CEO, Tarek El Hadidi, had previously announced that the cost of petroleum subsidies had fallen by 23%, to reach EGP 55b during 2015/2016. Yet, El Molla concluded that the actual amount spent was EGP 51b. Accordingly, Cairo budgeted EGP 35.04b for energy aid during the current fiscal year 2016/2017, as the government is expected to implement further cuts to subsidy expenditure.
In related news, the ministry’s official spokesperson, Hamdy Abdel Aziz, had said in a press release that there have been no final decisions in regards to lifting energy subsidies within three years. He added that the country’s reform program, which started mid 2014, aims to gradually reduce fuel subsidies over the course of five years or more. Egypt’s subsidy reform efforts in the gas and oil market will help adjust pricing schemas, with the aim of ensuring affordability to all citizens.