By Islam Zayed
Minister of Trade and Industry, Hatem Saleh, has handed responsibility for his electricity and export subsidies dossiers to Minister of Finance, Momtaz El-Saeed.
El-Saeed plans to increase subsidies for the export sector from EGP 3.4 to 3.5 billion; EGP 600 million of which was approved in the state budget by the former cabinet and a further EGP 400 million which has been provisionally approved by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), according to an inside source.
The source said the increase would be used to pay late dues owed to companies that had not been paid because of the country’s financial situation and to reinforce the Exports Support Fund (ESF). Almost 1855 companies are reported to benefit from exports subsidies.
In addition, new regulations will be put in place by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to control subsidies and increase the value added to the economy.
Atef Melsh, Director of Balance Sector at the MOF, said the planned EGP 400 million increase has not been executed yet, and no amendments have been appended to the new state budget.
According to the regulations of Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade, he explained, a large portion of the increase to exports support will be directed to the ESF, in addition to the state budget.