Official: Funds allocated to diesel subsidies have run out

The Finance Ministry has said that funds allocated by the government for diesel fuel subsidies have run out for the current year, with the Cabinet scrambling to find a solution.

 An official source within the ministry has said that meetings are being held with Ministry of Petroleum officials to solve the crisis, adding that the government's subsidies for diesel fuel are estimated at LE50 billion.

The two ministries are considering opening an additional source of credit for diesel subsidies through a law giving the finance minister the power to approve additional credits.

General Authority for Petroleum head Sheief Hadara said that coordination between the two ministries will continue to provide petroleum products on the local market, saying that they had been pumping larger than normal amounts for the past three days, at an average of 36,000 tons of diesel per day.

Hadara added that the body has noticed less incidences of anger and fights among drivers queuing in lines at gas stations over the past few days, and said that they the authority is coordinating with fuel distribution companies to improve procedures at stations to prevent long lines.

Hossam Arafat, chairman of the department of petroleum products at the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, said that pumping additional quantities of diesl does not solve the current crisis, pointing out that the market needs an additional 40,000 tons minimum a week.

Afifi Badawi, a member of the chamber's general division of petroleum products, also said that the market needed more diesel fuel readily available, regardless of what is currently being pumped.
Hadara also denied any missteps on the government's part in allocating money for importing petroleum products.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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