Ration Cards for Fuel Soon in Egypt

The Egyptian Oil Minister, Osama Kamal, said in an interview with Al Arabiya Television, that in attempt to reduce government expenditures, Egypt is planning to introduce ration cards for subsidized fuel, expected to be in effect July 1st 2013. Previously the government had also announced that a fixed amount of subsidized diesel or gasoline will be

allocated to each driver/car owner, and any purchase that exceeds that quota will have to be paid for at market prices.

“The main purpose of the coupons or the smart-card system is for subsidies to reach those who deserve them and to curb the smuggling phenomenon,” Kamal told Al Arabiya. "Our plan is to remove subsidies on fuel gradually in 3-5 years... but we cannot give an exact date yet on when the cards will be introduced as we don't want people to hoard fuel to sell it later on the black market."

Transportation in many parts of Egypt has been paralyzed as a result of the shortage of state-subsidized diesel. Industry and government officials have blamed it on the declining state of the country’s public finances, lower fuel production, inefficient subsidy system, black market trade, and continuous protests from unsatisfied civilians.

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