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Egypt Halts Gas Exports Amid Shortage, Plans Fuel-Subsidy Cut

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Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt hasn’t exported natural gas to Jordan or Spain since March because local consumption has increased, Oil Minister Osama Kamal said, according to state-run al-Ahram newspaper.

The government is planning to tackle fuel subsidies and will raise prices of higher-grade 95 gasoline, Kamal said in a speech to the Shura Council yesterday, according to al-Ahram. The government “has no plan to abolish subsidies for those who deserve them,” Kamal said, referring to 80-, 90- and 92-grade gasoline consumers, the newspaper reported. Kamal said he has submitted a bill that would strengthen penalties against black-market fuel smugglers, according to al-Ahram.

The Shura Council’s Financial and Economic Committee has urged the government to reduce spending by cutting subsidies, al-Ahram said. The plan includes printed coupons for Egyptians in need of cheaper fuel, butane gas cylinders and petroleum products. The Cabinet will discuss the committee’s report on Nov. 11, the Cairo-based newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tarek El-Tablawy at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

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