The Egyptian Ministry of Finance prepared a bill to provide the additional appropriation of 19.6 billion Egyptian pounds (about $3.567 billion) in the 2007-2008 national budget as a subsidy for petroleum products and natural gas. The additional appropriation will cover the growing deficit in the original appropriation earmarked for energy subsidy due to rising energy prices.
The Egyptian government had submitted another appropriation bill to cover the inclusion of 15 million citizens to the ration card system and the conversion of the cards’ partial subsidy to full subsidy.
The Egyptian government has decided not to add any newborns to the ration card since 1988. Its [current] decision to add newborns, which would mean an additional 15 million citizens, was the reason behind the request to seek additional appropriation of 850 million Egyptian pounds ($154.1 million).
Currently, 11 million individuals benefit from the ration cards, with each citizen’s subsidy in the ration card amounting to 77 Egyptian pounds [$13.96] annually.
al-Sharq, Qatar, February 13, 2008