Egypt Plans Ration Cards for Fuel Next Fiscal Year

Egypt, which needs to reduce government expenditure, plans to introduce ration cards for subsidized fuel in its next fiscal year, Oil Minister Osama Kamal said in an interview with Al Arabiya Television.

The government proposes allocating a fixed amount of subsidized diesel or gasoline to each motorist. People will have to pay market prices for any purchases that exceed the quota. Egypt will introduce ration cards in its new fiscal year, which begins on July 1, Kamal said.

“The main purpose of the coupons or the smart-card system is for subsidies to reach those who deserve them and to curb the smuggling phenomenon,” Kamal told the Dubai-based satellite channel today.

The government had said it would gradually introduce ration cards for fuel from April without giving any indication of how much unsubsidized fuel would cost. Some Egyptians already use the cards to buy other subsidized commodities, such as sugar and rice. Subsidized loaves of bread, which are not covered by the ration cards, cost 5 piasters (1 cent) each.

The Arab world’s most populous nation is seeking to obtain a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

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