Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Osama Kamal said on Monday that the government would begin finalising in June a deferred smart card program to distribute subsidised fuel to drivers.
Egypt’s government is currently undergoing a subsidies reform program in order to help close its budget deficit and secure the obtainment of its pending $4.8bn International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan in order to help revive the country’s stagnant economy.
Beginning in April, the amount of fuel drivers will be able to purchase using smart cards will be determined through a quota system, with drivers only able to use cards to purchase limited amounts of fuel over given periods of time.
Kamal stated on 12 February that full implementation of the program would take place between April and June of this year.
The country’s Islamists, upon securing power in July 2012, promised to reform the country’s subsidies program which consumes nearly 25% of Egypt’s budget. However recently, many have avoided discussing the issue for fear of the effects it may have on the outcome of Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections, which, according to some, may take place this coming April.
Towards the end of 2012 the government had already cancelled its support for subsidised 95 octane gas, forcing drivers to switch to lower grades.