Egypt to ask for US$4.8 billion IMF loan
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil will begin talks with head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde for a US$4.8 billion loan on Wednesday, Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed said on Monday.
Also in attendance for the talks will be Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Ashraf al-Araby, and Central Bank of Egypt President Farouk al-Oqda.
The talks will aim to raise the loan from $3.2 billion to $4.8 billion or 300 percent of Egypt's capital to IMF, said Saeed. The negotiations with Lagarde will be broad, he said, to be followed by more detailed talks following the arrival of an IMF technical team that examine specifics of the loan.
The economic and social program introduced by the government earlier to the IMF will have slight amendments related to lowering subsidy on energy and oil products and a restructure of taxation, Saeed told al-Masry al-Youm.
The government decided to lower subsidies on oil products from LE95.5 billion in the 2011-2012 budget to LE25.5 billion in the 2012-2013 budget by applying a coupon system on butane, gas and diesel in addition to other procedures for rationalizing energy consumption.
The government also seeks to apply an ascending taxation system by increasing taxation for each income bracket as part of its efforts to fix the current taxation system.
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