IMF strongly supports Egypt’s economic reforms

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) strongly supports Egypt’s economic reform programme, the fund’s mission chief for Egypt Chris Jarvis said on Saturday.

“Measures taken by the Egyptian government, such as increasing the prices of fuel and electricity and imposing the value-added tax, should have a positive impact on the budget,” Jarvis said in statement to official news agency MENA.

“Such measures help achieve initial surplus in the budget of the Egyptian government for the first time in 10 years,” he added, describing it as “an important achievement.”

Increasing the prices of fuel and electricity was part of the Egyptian government’s plan to reduce energy subsidy to secure more funds for better education and social protection programmes, the IMF’s official said.

The IMF announced Thursday that it had approved a second loan installment worth $1.25 billion for Egypt.

Egypt agreed to a three-year, $12 billion loan programme in November that is tied to ambitious economic reforms such as subsidy cuts and tax hikes.