Fuel smart cards will be available for car owners across the republic starting Friday, the Finance Ministry said Thursday, noting that the cards have already been provided to 15 governorates, with the rest of provinces, including Cairo, receiving the cards by tomorrow.
Egypt had embarked on the smart cards scheme to impose control over the supply of subsidized fuel, ensure delivery to the subsidy-entitled users and prevent leaks to the black market.
Assistant Finance Minister Amr Badawy said in a statement on Thursday that the cards will not bind customers with specific amounts of fuel, noting, however, that only cars with valid licenses will be given cards. He pointed out that fuel will be given out disregarding the car’s engine capacity or year of manufacture, adding that owners of more than one car will be assigned one card only.
The cards also apply to users other than car owners, according to Badawy. Seven hundred thirty brick kilns, as well as subsidized bread bakeries in 20 provinces and fishing boats have received the cards, he explained
The card scheme, according to Badawy, is meant to establish a national database tracking the distribution of petroleum products from storehouses to stations, factories, tourist resorts and hospitals. It also seeks to prevent cross-border smuggling, he said.
Asked whether the cards issued in 2013 under the government of former president Mohamed Morsi are still valid, the Finance Ministry official replied positively.
Badawy said 27 centers providing technical support for the project have been opened across the republic.
He added that to avoid any glitches in the system in remote areas, the distribution company resorted to mobile phone operators to connect the whole network, and that satellites would be the solution in the case of a weak signal.