EGYPT MAKING “GOOD PROGRESS” TOWARDS SECURING USD 12 BLN LOAN – IMF

The IMF said Thursday, that, Egypt has made “good progress” on reforms, ahead of receiving a three-year USD 12 billion loan, but said, there was not yet a specific date the matter would be finalised.

“The reforms are headed in the right direction, should continue, should be implemented, and we’re planning to support the government in that,” spokesman of the International Monetary Fund, Gerry Rice, said, at a briefing here.

“That doesn’t mean they’re easy to do. They’re difficult. There’s going to be disagreement and differences and maybe even protests,” he said of the reforms.

What is required of Egypt is “continuing with what has been agreed and the government’s reform plan,” he explained.

Rice hailed Egypt’s passing of the budget, approval of Value Added Tax (VAT), plan on energy subsidies, and its central bank’s commitment, to gradually move to a more flexible exchange rate.

Meanwhile, a USD 5-6 billion amount in “additional funding” required to make the IMF loan possible, will be handed by Saudi Arabia and China, Rice mentioned.

He also went on to underline that, the IMF did not call for any cuts in food subsidies, in return for the loan.

“There’s been some reporting and some speculation around that. I want to be clear on that. The IMF programme does not call for any cuts in food subsidies,” he added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.