CAIRO: Chairman of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW), Mamdouh Raslan said Thursday that water bills are to be “strictly” collected from every citizen to reduce the gap between expenditure and income, Youm7 reported.
During his Thursday’s meeting with heads of HCWW’s subsidiary branches, Raslan pointed out that water prices in Egypt are the lowest in the world. “One cubic meter of water is sold for less than 60 percent of its prime cost, a subsidy that burdens the state budget,” said Raslan.
In his speech during the graduation ceremony of a new batch of Military Academy cadets Tuesday, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said he refused to ratify the budget presented by the Ministry of Finance because it featured more than 300 billion EGP ($42 billion) in deficit and surged public debt to more than 2 trillion EGP.
“There needs to be urgent rationing for expenses and more exerted effort in work in the upcoming phase to overcome economic crisis, Sisi said.
Water bills pricing structure are segmented into several groups based on the water consumption per month. According to Raslan, the first segment, representing 20 percent of water consumers, pays 0.23 EGP ($ 0.03) per a cubic meter while those who consume more than 40 cubic meters per month are charged 0.70 per cubic meter.
Meanwhile, the state pays 1.5 EGP to produce one cubic meter of water, said Raslan.
An inside source at the Ministry of Finance told Reuters that the ministry will address decreasing budget deficit to 10.5 percent of Gross Domestic Products (GDP), rather than the scheduled 12 percent of 2014-15 draft budget.
The first aspect of rationing expenses is by lifting a large part of subsidy, restructuring the wages system, and decreasing transfer expenditures “including the debts interests and subsidy” to surround budget deficit, former head of the Sadat Academy for Management Sciences Abdel Muttaleb Abdel Hamid told The Cairo Post.
Reporting by Hanan Fayed and Ahmed Abu Shady.