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Egypt to Introduce Program to Cut Fuel Subsidy Within Six Months

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt, which is working to reduce government spending, plans to introduce smart cards for motorists within three to six months that would limit consumption of subsidized fuel, according to its Oil Minister.

The system is being introduced to curb black market trade in diesel, which has created shortages, Osama Kamal said today in Cairo. Egypt, which is seeking a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, will use savings on fuel subsidies to increase salaries in the next three to five years, the minister said.

The Egyptian government’s application for an IMF loan has already been delayed twice. Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said on Feb. 6 the government would invite IMF officials to return to Cairo within the next few days, without being more specific.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Galal in Cairo at ogalal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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