Egypt hikes drinking water and sewage charges by up to 50%

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed off Wednesday on measures to increase drinking water and sewage fees as much as 50 percent.

Egypt introduced sweeping economic reforms last year as part of a three-year, $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan programme, floating its currency and cutting subsidies to attract foreign investment that fled after a 2011 uprising.

Last month, the government raised electricity prices by up to 42 percent this fiscal year for households. Also in July, it raised fuel prices by up to 50 percent to help meet the terms of its IMF loan agreement.

Government officials say spending cuts will help revive an economy where subsidies have accounted for about a quarter of state expenditures. But austerity carries risks for Sisi, whose popularity has been eroded by inflation and a contested deal to hand two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Source: Reuters