Building Database delays Rationing Fuel System

Egypt’s Oil Minister, Sheriff Haddara, told reporters that the new rationing system for subsidized gasoline that was due to start this July has been delayed, hoping to build a database that will help to implement subsidy cuts.

Egypt is struggling to finance its fuel and food imports after foreign-currency reserves shrank following the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. Cutting subsidies is central to negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan.

Haddara claims that this delay was caused only by a “technical reason”, and that the system that was proposed has not changed. Information like the quantity of fuel bought by each card-holder and the level of demand at each filling station will be collected by the government, he said. “We first want to know the quantity people consume and what the current consumption pattern is,” Haddara said. “We need a month or two to know the pattern,” after which the government will decide how to ration the subsidized fuel.

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