Fuel smart cards distributed to 56% of vehicles in Egypt so far: Card issuer

Ahram Online , Friday 29 Jan 2016

petrol station
A worker fills the tank of a car at a petrol station in Cairo, March 12, 2013 (Reuters)

Egypt's government has distributed 3.2 million smart cards for fuel rationing to vehicles, out of a total of 5.7 million vehicles countrywide, the head of card issuing company E-finance, Ibrahim Sarhan, was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram newspaper on Thursday.

Some 14,000 tuk-tuks, widely used in streets unreachable by public transportation, have also recieved their smart cards.

The smart card system aims to crack down on smuggling and reduce the energy subsidy bill in the state budget.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi postponed the implementation of the system last June to ensure that all sectors that need the cards are covered, including farmers, fishermen, tuk-tuk drivers and other vehicles.

In mid-2014 the government cut fuel subsidies, raising prices at the pump by up to 78 percent in a politically sensitive move that aimed to restructure imbalances in the state budget.

The fuel smart card is designed to be used for health insurance and fertiliser distribution as well, said Sarhan.

Egypt's subsidy bill for the fiscal year 2014/15 hit LE74 billion and is targeted to shrink to LE61 billion, according to the ministry of finance.

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