5 November 2012

Egypt: Minister - No Disagreements With IMF Mission

Finance Minister Momtaz al-Said, denied reports on disagreements between the International Monetary Fund's mission and the Egyptian government regarding the subsidies' policies and the rate of exchange.

Talks with the IMF mission are progressing towards a final agreement, said the Minister pointing out that a meeting was held Sunday with the IMF representatives to discuss some details pertaining to the proposed loan agreement.

He also denied reports that IMF regional director Abdel Shakour Shalaan's current visit to Egypt was aimed at rectifying certain positions or intervening to either end differences or offer advice.

On another plane, the Finance Minister asserted that the government was committed to President Morsi's program to address any problems relating to subsidy, particularly the subsidized bread.

The Minister rejected demands by the bakeries' owners to increase the cost of the subsidized bread at present.

Most appropriate way to ensure that subsidy reaches the targeted categories is to direct it to the distribution rather than the making stage, added the Minister.

Flour will be delivered to the bread producers at free price while bread will be taken from them at the free price as well so as to be reassured that subsidized flour won't be leaked to the black market, he said.

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