Electricity prices to go up prior to elections: Araby
Minister of Planning Ashraf al-Araby - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: The Egyptian government plans to increase electricity fees for 20 percent of the nation’s wealthiest citizens prior to the presidential elections, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Ashraf al-Araby told Reuters at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

Araby said the move is meant to communicate that the government will waste no time in implementing reform when it comes to electricity in Egypt.

Araby also added that the increase will be gradual and might take between three to five years to be completely applied. According to the ministry, the government will use 15 percent of what is saved with this new program to support the poor and social services programs.

This will acquire social justice because the government will take from the rich and give to the poor, said Araby.

Araby also addressed the use of smartcards for petroleum, saying that the system will be applied to control the smuggling of subsidized fuel in the black market. He also added that only two million smart cards were distributed and the government plans to distribute the rest of the cards within three months, Reuters reported.

On March 29, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said, on Al-Hayah Channel, that Egypt suffers from a massive electricity deficiency problem, as the production of electricity is 300 megawatts less than the needed amount.

He also added that the government is responsible for solving this problem and a plan is being prepared to handle the deficiency problem.

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