Egypt mulls removing energy subsidies for certain industries

The government is considering removing its energy subsidies to the steel, cement, fertilizers, and ceramics industries, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawy on Monday.

“The government recognizes the importance of rationalizing petroleum product subsidies and limiting them to only those [industries] entitled to receive them," Beblawy said.

He made the statement during a meeting organized by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Monday evening with a number of ministers charged with handling Egypt's economy, along with 40 business and industry leaders representing the key production and service sectors.

During the meeting, which was moderated by Major General Mahmoud Nasr, the assistant secretary of defense for financial affairs and a SCAF member, Beblawy said that it was in Egypt's best interests to import natural gas to meet the increasing demand for energy by the industrial sector.

“The government will respect previous commitments and contracts with the private sector, so long as these contracts and commitments are legal without any inaccuracies or digressions,” said Beblawy. “These current reviews are legal reviews and the government is not abdicating itself from these commitments.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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