Egypt did not have luxury of postponing reforms - PM

2016-11-04 20:34
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Cairo -Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail said on Friday the government did not have the luxury of postponing reforms, a day after the currency was devalued and fuel prices were raised.

Egypt floated the pound on Thursday amid a dollar crunch that threatened to grind imports to a halt, causing the pound to fall from 8.8 to the dollar to more than 14 pounds.

The government also announced an increase in fuel prices, with low grade petrol increasing by 50% to 2.35 pounds a litre while higher octane fuel rose by about one third to 3.5 pounds per litre.

"We did not have the luxury of postponing" the decisions, Ismail said at a news conference.

Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said the country was facing a budget deficit of 11% this year.

The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is rolling out an austerity programme and seeking billions in support from abroad in order to meet conditions for a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

The country has struggled to boost its foreign currency reserves in the political and economic turmoil that has followed the January 2011 uprising that toppled former ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Read more on:    abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  north africa

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