Middle East

Oil minister says Egypt 'suffering' from fuel subsidies

Egypt's petroleum minister says the country is "suffering" due to fuel subsidies, saying these funds are better diverted to health care and education.

Tarek el-Molla, speaking at a conference in Cairo Monday, says the government pays 42 percent of the cost of 92-octane gasoline, which is used to fuel privately owned vehicles owned by more affluent Egyptians.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi had cut fuel subsidies in 2014, in a move that caused a public outcry but was welcomed by economists as a necessary step to save public funds for much-needed development projects.

He declined to share a timeline or the government's plans for future fuel subsidy cuts, saying announcing these plans ahead of time could prompt people to hoard gasoline to sell at a higher price later.