August 15, 2016 / 11:07 AM / 4 years ago

Egypt's 2015/16 petroleum subsidy spending down 23 percent

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s spending on petroleum subsidies fell by 23 percent in 2015/16 to 55 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.27 billion), Tarek al-Hadidi, head of state oil company EGPC, told Reuters on Monday.

Egypt has been trying to lower subsidies which eat up a big chunk of the state budget.

Petroleum product subsidies cost 71.5 billion pounds in 2014/15. Egypt aims to lower this to about 35 billion in the financial 2016/17 which began last month.

“Petroleum product subsidies have decreased to 55 billion Egyptian pounds in 2015/16 from a targeted 61 billion pounds. The reason for the decrease is lower global oil prices,” al-Hadidi said.

In 2014 the government cut spending on energy subsidies, causing domestic prices of natural gas, diesel and other fuels to rise by as much as 78 percent.

($1 = 8.7700 Egyptian pounds)

Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Asma Alsharif; editing by Jason Neely

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