EGYPT’S SISI ORDERS GOVT TO CONTROL PRICE HIKES

CAIRO, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi instructed his government on Saturday to step up measures to control price hikes, the Egyptian presidential spokesman said in a statement.

Sisi’s remarks came during a meeting with senior officials on the security and economic developments in the country, particularly after the recent International Monetary Fund’s praise of Egypt’s ongoing economic reforms, according to Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef.

The Egyptian president ordered coordination between all concerned authorities nationwide to provide sufficient stock of basic commodities and tighten control measures to limit price hikes.

As part of a strict three-year economic reform program based on austerity measures and subsidy cuts, Egypt raised earlier this month the fuel prices up to 55.3 percent, doubled the price of a gas cylinder and increased electricity prices up to 42 percent based on consumption.

In order to ensure social protection for low-income people amid price hikes, the government is increasing bonuses and pensions for employees, providing monthly allowances via a social solidarity fund and offering commodities with lower prices at government vehicles in public squares.

As Egypt has been facing economic recessions over the past few years due to political turmoil and security issues, the economic reforms seek to save the country’s spending to contain the growing budget deficit, inflation rate as well as foreign and domestic debts.

The country’s economic reforms are supported by a US$12 billion loan from the IMF, which has recently voiced support for the economic reform measures by Sisi administration.

“Measures taken by the Egyptian government, such as increasing the prices of fuel and electricity and imposing the value-added tax, should have a positive impact on the budget,” said Chris Jarvis, IMF’s mission chief for Egypt, on Saturday.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK