UPDATED: IMF technical team to visit Egypt 'within days': Finance Minister

Ahram Online, Sunday 24 Mar 2013

Egyptian Finance Minister El-Morsi El-Sayed Hegazy says subsidy cuts will be implemented before sales tax rises after request by IMF

Morsi and Lagarde
File photo: Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi (R) meets with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Presidential Palace in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

A technical team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Egypt "within days," Finance Minister El-Morsi El-Sayed Hegazy said at a press conference on Sunday.

Egypt is seeking a $4.8 billion loan from the fund to shore up its ailing economy. An IMF delegation visited Cairo last week for day-long talks with Egyptian officials that were described as constructive.

The IMF had requested some modifications to Egypt's economic reform programme related to the timing of some procedures, Hegazy said. Subsidy cuts would therefore be implemented before raising sales taxes.

Accordingly, the government plans to finish reworking its fuel and bread subsidy programmes by 1 July 2013, Hegazy added.

In February, the government revealed 24 new measures as part of an economic programme designed to meet the IMF's pre-conditions for the proposed $4.8 billion loan.

The measures include raising income taxes, implementing new levies and 'restructuring' subsidies.

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