Big rise in cooking gas prices in Egypt

Published April 1st, 2013 - 01:46 GMT
Egypt is to dramatically increase the cost of cooking gas cylinders ahead of a vist by the IMF (Abid Katib / Getty Images)
Egypt is to dramatically increase the cost of cooking gas cylinders ahead of a vist by the IMF (Abid Katib / Getty Images)

Egypt is to increase the price of cooking gas  on Monday, Reuters reported.

One cooking gas cylinder will now cost EGP8 ($1.17), up by 60 per cent, for domestic users. Commercial buyers will have to pay double that the original price for each cylinder.

The decision comes ahead of a planned visit by the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday to discuss a $4.8 billion loan for the beleaguered economy.

As part of the loan agreement, the government will have to reduce overall government expenditure, including on subsidies. It is the first time 20 years that the cost of cooking gas has been raised and is politically risky for embattled President Mohammed Morsi.

Government subsidies on key commodities such as bread and fuel account for approximately half of all government spending.

In March, the government reduced the subsidies on bread and discounted fuel is to be rationed in parts of the country via a smart-card system.

In 1977, Egypt saw widespread rioting caused by a  hike in the cost of bread after IMF and World Bank -mandated changes in state subsidies for bread, leading to a massive cost increase in the staple.




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