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Egypt's finance, interior ministries cooperate on fuel smart cards

The second phase of the government's smart cards system for rationalised fuel subsidies is already underway, says finance ministry

Ahram Online, Sunday 11 Aug 2013
Fuel
An Egyptian driver rests on his car as he refuels it at a gasoline station in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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Egyptian Finance Minister Ahmed Galal has approved forming a triad between his ministry, the Ministry of Interior, and E-finance Company to operate the smart cards system that aims to curb smuggling of subsidised fuel and to pave the way to rationalising state subsidies for petroleum products, the finance ministry said Sunday.

Galal explained that the new system would regulate fuel distribution nationwide and save energy subsidy money, which jumped three times over eight years to reach LE120 billion in 2012/13 compared to LE40 billion in 2005/06.

He said one third of the subsidy was going to ineligible consumers.

The total energy subsidies bill is expected to near LE100 billion in 2013/14

According to the ministry statement, Ayman Tolba, the finance minister’s advisor, said that the second phase of the fuel smart cards programme, entailing the distribution of cards for diesel-powered vehicles and gasoline-powered vehicles, had already started in July, while issuing cards for vehicles without a regular traffic license, such as three-wheeled tuktuks and agricultural vehicles, would begin soon.

Tolba added that the government launched a new website (www.esp.gov.eg) to receive applications for smart cards.

Egyptian authorities have already implemented the first phase of the smart card system, which consisted of issuing cards for tanker trucks and gas stations and building a database of companies and depots for fuel distribution.

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