“This year’s energy subsidies are projected at EGP 99.6 billion…None of the energy subsidies will be abolished or reduced. The smart card system applied this year will have no restrictions on the quantities demanded for subsidised petroleum,” Finance Ministry official Nagy Al-Ashkar said during a press conference on Saturday.
The supply of petroleum products, via smart cards, to cars will begin during the first quarter of the year. Some car owners have already received the cards. The government has said that the system will limit the illegal trafficking of petroleum products and allow the government to accurately assess the consumption of petroleum products.
According to Al-Ashkar, “Using the smart card system when distributing petroleum products will save EGP 36 billion ($5.2 billion) of petroleum product subsidies in the state’s budget”.
“The electronic system will save 30% of the subsidies lost as a result of trafficking activities. It will also assure access to the subsidies for those who qualify, save natural resources and cover the state’s needs in the agricultural, industrial and other sectors,” Al-Askar added.
Ibrahim Sarhan, the Chairman of the E-Finance company responsible for the smart card system, said, “The objective of the card system is to determine the actual quantities consumed and supplied. This has nothing to do with limiting the demand of each consumer.”
Sarhan noted that 15 marketing companies, 2646 fuel stations, 1200 direct clients, 662 freight agent, 102 importers, 12 thousand points, 2500 discharging points and 6968 freight units have been automated.
The financial settlement system between the Oil Ministry and the Ministry of Finance has also been automated, and a card centre with the capacity to issue 4.5 million cards on a monthly basis has opened.
Translated from AlBorsa Newspaper