Trade union federation rejects petroleum product price rise
The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) logo

CAIRO:  Deputy Head of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) Magdy el-Badawy voiced his concern over a potential increase of the prices of the petroleum products, Youm7 reported Wednesday, and called on Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to find a new mechanism that could control the ongoing price hikes of the basic commodities and petroleum products.

Minister of Planning Ashraf el-Araby was quoted by Reuters Monday saying the government was planning to raise the prices of electricity and all state-subsidized fuels with the start of the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Badawy, who described the decision as “serious and unstudied,” said that the ETUF members considered presenting an official memorandum to Mahlab calling on the suspension of any future decision to raise fuel prices along with the necessity to implement a minimum wage scheme in the general budget of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

“We were surprised when the government ratified the budget and the president approved it without discussing the minimum wage; that caused a state of anger inside the union.”

The government’s decision to increase fuel and diesel prices will contribute to the increase of a large number of essential products, Badawy told Youm7.

During the past few weeks, sources from within the Ministry of Petroleum have given conflicting statements about the increase of fuel prices in the forthcoming period.

Deputy head of Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation Amr Mostafa told Youm7 Sunday, however, the increase of fuel prices would be applied after Ramadan.

The increase of fuel prices came as part of a government effort to decrease the budget deficit, following President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s refusal to ratify the state budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal with a deficit of 12 percent of GDP.

Additionally reporting by Ashraf Azooz.

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