CAIRO: Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said that the new budget includes increases in fuel prices, as the subsidy will be reduced by 40 percent. Electricity prices will also rise by 15 to 20 percent, Reuters reported Sunday.
The government took these measures in light of fiscal year 2014-2015’s budget, which proposes a deficit rate of 240 billion EGP.
Mahlab said in a press statement Monday that the electricity crisis will continue for at least two more years and that they aim to cancel energy subsidies within the next three years, el-Araby el-Gadid reported on Monday.
Mahlab added “the increase in electricity prices comes as a result of higher consumption due to usage of air conditioners in the summer,”
Minister of Planning Ashraf al-Araby announced in a press conference Saturday that prices of fuel and electricitywill rise as soon as possible to face the budget deficit, al-Jazeera Mubasher reported Saturday.
Araby added that increasing fuel and electricity prices could affect prices of food, goods and services yet he did not address any solutions to solve this problem, Al-Jazeera Mubasher reported.
Petroleum expert Engineer Medhat Youssef told al-Dostor that decreasing the energy subsidy is disappointing and that the minister’s announcement lacked political and social awareness as he announced this at a critical time.
Youssef also added that this announcement came without cooperation with Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail,which created pressure on gas stations because people want to save up on fuel before the prices increase which caused a fuel crisis.
The electricity crisis in Egypt continuesas power is cut off for long durations; electricity was cut off in some areas in Egypt formore than 12 hours starting Thursday morning until Friday night, al-Masry al-Youm reported June 20.
Sources at the Ministry of Electricity said that the new power plants are not able to operate all day long due to lack of fuel, al-Masry al-Youm added.
Engineers and technicians at the power plants told Masresson May 7, 2012 that the electricity crisis will not be solved by cutting off power to reduce load and that planning is needed for managing sources,maintenance for established plants and building new ones.
The government has called for reducing and rationalizing the use of electricity to help control the electricity crisis.