Minister: Supply increase helps relieve fuel shortage

An increase in supplies over the past five days helped relieve Egypt's ongoing gas and diesel fuel shortage, Egypt's petroleum minister said.

"There's no crisis with gasoline and diesel fuel on the market. Most vehicles obtained their needs over the past few days," Abdullah Ghorab told Al-Masry Al-Youm in a phone call.

The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation pumped 17,000 tons of gasoline and 39 million tons of diesel fuel, a 30 percent increase, five days ago.

All official reports assure that fuel stations and butane gas cylinder stocks no longer have problems, Ghorab said.

The minister said he is satisfied about efforts by the Interior Ministry and control authorities to confront smuggling and sale of gasoline and diesel fuel on the black market. About 700,000 liters of gasoline were seized before being smuggled in one day.

Pumping such amounts for a long period of time is not in our favor, Ghorab said.

"An increase of one ton of gasoline and diesel fuel means paying more to subsidize it," he said.

The minister called on the media not to press the government to pay more on a product that ends up getting burned. He said that talking about a crisis in production of diesel fuel always sparks a real problem, making traders hide it and seek higher profits.

According to the petroleum corporation's estimates, government subsidies are expected to reach LE114 billion next year because of an increase in international prices. However, only LE95.6 billion was allocated for subsidies in the state budget.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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