Egypt hikes sin taxes

Cairo - Egypt raised the sales tax on cigarettes by up to 120% on Sunday and doubled the tax on alcohol as part of a series of measures to curb the budget deficit and reform the economy.

The decisions were taken by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and published in the state's official gazette, a day after a subsidy cut that increased the price of fuel and natural gas by over 70%, angering drivers.

Egypt is trying to reduce its deficit to 10% of gross domestic product in the next fiscal year, from an expected shortfall of 12% in 2013/14.

Sisi, who took office last month, has already raised the price of electricity and imposed a 10% tax on stock market gains.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said the electricity move and the new cuts in fuel subsidies would save the government around 51 billion Egyptian pounds ($7.13bn) this year.

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