Egypt parliament agrees to introduce value-added tax

Egypt's parliament has agreed to establish a value-added tax of 13 percent, in a move authorities hope will generate much-needed state revenue and advance a reform program supported by loans from the International Monetary Fund.

State newspaper Al-Ahram reports Tuesday that the measure was passed in a session a day earlier, and that VAT would increase to 14 percent the following year.

The IMF has granted Egypt a $12 billion loan over three years, subject to approval by its executive board, in hopes it will help stabilize Egypt's falling currency, reduce the budget deficit and government debt, boost growth and create jobs.

Egypt's economy has been struggling since the 2011 popular uprising that overthrew autocrat Hosni Mubarak, with high inflation, foreign currency shortages, and low levels of tourism and investment.