Egypt PM Ibrahim Mahlab rejects public outrage against fuel price hike

Written by PTI | Cairo | Updated: Jul 6 2014, 14:43pm hrs
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has rejected public outrage against the recent hike in fuel prices and asked them to accept the decision.

Mahlab said this yesterday during a phone interview with "90 Minutes program" on el-Mehwar TV channel.

"This raise in prices is a hard way but Egypt should go through it, especially after debt accumulation", he said.

The commuters had blocked the roads and bickered with public transport drivers soon after the announcement of fuel price hike.

The Egyptian government raised the fuel prices by upto 78 per cent on Friday midnight to tackle a bloated subsidy system.

The decision, which raised the public outrage came as an attempt to reduce 240 billion Egyptian pounds (USD 33.5) billion national budget deficit.

The new increase in fuel prices ranged from 0.40 Egyptian pounds (USD 0.06) to 0.75 Egyptian pounds per litre.

The price of 92 octane gasoline, which used to be sold at 1.85 Egyptian pounds per litre, was raised to 2.6 Egyptian pounds per litre and 80 octane gas from 0.9 Egyptian pounds per litre to 1.6 Egyptian pounds per litre

The price of diesel was raised from 1.1 Egyptian pounds to 1.8 Egyptian pounds per litre, reported Youm 7 website.

Meanwhile, Cairo Governor Galal Mostafa al-Said yesterday approved a 15 to 20 per cent increase in the Cairo public transportation fees.

"There will be continuous monitoring of the new fee," Said was quoted as saying by the state-run MENA news agency.

He also said the white Cairo taxis fees will be increased to 3 Egyptian pounds instead of 2.50 Egyptian pounds as the starting fee and 1.40 Egyptian pounds for every kilometre instead of the current 1.25 Egyptian pounds.

On the first Friday after being inaugurated in June as Egypt's president, Abdel Fatah el-Sisi appeared on the TV with sportive clothes calling on people to ride motorcycles when going to work or school in order to save money and energy.

Several photos of him riding a motorcycle with hundred of motorcyclists went viral on social media sites.

Many activists who were unhappy with this decision posted many caricatures, photos and statues on social media sites to express their opposition.