Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Govt to Raise Price of Drinking Water

An official from the Ministry of Utilities says that the government is considering raising the prices of drinking water for homes and industrial and commercial establishments to reach the cost of production at least.

The government plans to dispense the support it provides for water prices. It had reached 5 billion pounds annually, reported a local newspaper.

"The increase will be gradual over the upcoming five years" says the chairman of the Consumer Protection Agency.

The government seeks monopolizing the purification and distribution services through piped drinking water in Egypt. In order to reduce the budget deficit, which exceeded 170 billion Egyptian pounds in the last fiscal year.

The Holding Company for Drinking Water which is owned by the governement sells a cubic meter of water for half a pound while it actually costs two pounds.

"homes consume less than ten cubic meters of water monthly, the increase would be gradual for homes and top consumer facilities", the governmental official concluded.

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