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Cairo aims to reduce its budget deficit for the 2014-15 fiscal year by more than originally envisaged, necessitating spending cuts that will largely come from curbing energy subsidies that have crippled government finances.
The cabinet this week signed off a final budget with a deficit of E£240bn ($33.6bn), after new President ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi had refused to sanction an earlier draft that projected a deficit of E£288bn ($40.2bn).
The revised budget cuts the sum earmarked for energy subsidies to E£100bn ($14.0bn), a 30% reduction from the E£144bn ($20.1bn) figure originally mooted, according to Minister of Finance Hani Qadri Dimian. Oil product subsidies for the 2013-14 fiscal year are expected to total E£134bn ($18.7bn - MEES, 30 May).
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