The value-added tax (VAT) draft law currently under review in the House of Representatives will not affect the prices of petrol, diesel, or other petroleum products and the media reports stating otherwise are false, according to a Wednesday statement by the Ministry of Finance.
The plan of the government and the Finance Ministry does not currently include any intention to change the prices of petroleum products, and this topic is not currently on the table, said the statement.
Moreover the government programme to rationalise energy subsidies, including petroleum product subsidies, does not include raising the prices at the moment. The procedures that are being studied currently focus on providing access to subsidies to those who deserve it most, the statement reported.
The Ministry of Finance claimed in the statement that easing the burden on lower income citizens is a fundamental pillar of the government’s financial policy and is reflected in the dozens of state-sponsored programmes to promote social protection networks.
Consequently, the current budget allocations for social programmes have increased significantly, including the EGP 7bn increase in food subsidies in FY 2016/2017 and the increase in pension and social security benefits.
According to the statement, the government is also attempting to expand the list of VAT exempted goods to include all essential goods and services that affect the daily lives of citizens, which shows the government’s eagerness to prioritise the lowest income strata.