Finance Ministry releases LE4.7 billion for subsidies, development projects

The minister of finance authorized the release of LE4.7 billion in urgent funding to support the ministries of electricity, supply, health and transport, as well as making payments to economic authorities.

According to a ministry statement, the funds include around LE2 billion to support the government food subsidy program, with LE750 million going towards subsidies for March, LE250 million going to bakeries,  and around LE1 billion to import 540,000 tonnes of wheat. This brings the total spending so far in this fiscal year up to LE21.4 billion.

The Ministry of Electricity has been granted LE1.8 billion for electricity subsidies in March. The government has also set aside LE2.5 billion to import natural gas for electricity companies.

This will bring the cost of subsidies for petroleum products to the electricity sector up to LE19 billion from July 2014 to March 2015, the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, the ministry said.

The government has not yet released figures for subsidies paid for gasoline, natural gas consumption by households and industry, and other petroleum products. In its monthly bulletin for February, the ministry said no petroleum settlements had been made so far this fiscal year.

Other payments made by the ministry include LE130 million to support upgrades to Egypt’s railroad crossings. Dozens of people have died in recent years due to collisions between trains and motor vehicles at understaffed and poorly maintained crossings.

The Finance Ministry also released LE20 million for development programs in the Red Sea governorate, LE100 million to the Red Sea Ports Authority, LE72.5 million to the state water holding company, LE86.9 million to pay debts to companies hired to clean and beautify Cairo.

The government provided an LE88.5 million loan to support wage restructuring in the textile sector, and gave LE220 million to pay workers at the state broadcasting company.

*Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Finance Ministry released LE86.9 billion to pay debts to companies hired to clean Cairo. This figure was corrected to LE89.9 million on March 23, 2015.

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