Egypt's cabinet approved on Saturday the increasing of installation fees for household natural gas connections, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported, citing oil minister Tarek El-Molla.
El-Molla stated that the fees have been raised by EGP 350 to reach a total of EGP 1,850.
The minister said the new fees are due to the high cost of delivering the natural gas to households.
However, the minister made it clear that the new increase would not apply to all citizens, with lower-income people to be exempt.
The rise came a few weeks after the government announced new increases in electricity bills as part of a fiscal reform programme – which includes cutting subsidies and the introduction of new taxes – aimed at curbing the growing state budget deficit, estimated at 11.5 percent of GDP in 2015/16.
On Saturday, the ministry of International Cooperation stated on its official website that the minister Sahar Nasr discussed with the World Bank (WB) the household gas connection project co-financed by the bank with an amount worth $500 million, a grant from the EU worth 68 million euros, and the French Development Agency (AFD) with a sum of 70 million euros.
During her meeting with WB mission, Nasr emphasized the necessity of increasing the number of governorates included in the project to become 20 instead of 11, given that natural gas would be delivered to 2.4 million households over 4 years, including 1.1 million households in 11 governorates.
There are around 7.2 million housing units that have been connected with natural gas in Egypt as of December 2015, according to official data.
*The official exchange rate for $1 = EGP 8.78.