MON 20 - 8 - 2018
 
Date: Jun 18, 2018
Source: The Daily Star
Egypt increases fuel prices, as part of austerity measures
Associated Press
CAIRO: Egypt announced Saturday steep increases in fuel and cooking gas prices as part of the country's economic reforms and austerity measures designed to overhaul the country's ailing economy.

The new prices went into effect Saturday morning, the Ministry of Oil said in a statement.

Prices for cooking gas increased from 60 to 100 pounds (from $3.3 to $5.6) per cylinder, a more than 60-percent increase.

Ninety-two octane gasoline increased from 5 pounds to 6.75 pounds per liter, or about a 34 percent increase. Eighty octane gas increased from 3.65 to 5.5 pounds, nearly a 50 percent increase per liter.

This is the third time the government has increased fuel prices since austerity measures were announced late 2015. The move is likely to send prices soaring further.

The authorities made the increases as Egyptians have been celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. They fear the hikes could cause protests such as when dozens of people demonstrated against an increase in fares for the Cairo metro in May.

In recent weeks, authorities raised metro fares by up to 250 percent, drinking water by up to 45 percent and electricity by 26 percent.

The hikes come as Egypt presses ahead with a broader economic reform program that has included slashing subsidies, imposing a value-added tax and a currency flotation. The measures were aimed at qualifying for a three-year $12 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund, which Egypt secured in 2016.

The tough austerity measures have won praise from economists and business leaders but have come as a heavy blow to poor and middle-class Egyptians.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the architect of the economic reforms - which none of his predecessors dared implement - defended his government's decisions to slash subsidies.

He said that the government spends some $18.6 billion a year on subsidies to cover fuel, food and electricity. Each family receives an average of about $60, he said.

Egypt's economy is still recovering from unrest following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.


 
Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment

Enter the security code below*

 Can't read this? Try Another.
 
Related News
Six Egyptian policemen charged with torturing prisoner to death
2 monks referred to trial over abbot's killing in Egypt
Desert monastery murder shocks Egypt’s Christians
Egypt police arrest six over failed church attack
Court jails Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader for life
Related Articles
The military’s immunity in Egypt
Four lessons from Egypt’s World Cup experience
Outsmarting the opposition: Egypt’s ‘Comprehensive Military Operation’
The escalating battle over appointing judges in Egypt
Prisoners of pain: The struggle to access opioids
Editor In Chief & Webmaster : Nazih Darwish
Copyright 2018 . All rights reserved