Tunisia: Budget Allocated to Commodity Subsidies Expected to Drop 33.1 Percent in 2023

Tunis/Tunisia — The budget allocated to commodity subsidies is expected to fall 33.1% in 2023 to reach TND 2.523 billion dinars against TND 3.771 billion in 2022, the 2023 State budget document shows.

This budget was drawn up on the basis of a 1.8% growth rate and oil averaging $89 a barrel (compared to $75 in the 2022 budget), Finance Minister Sihem Namssia said.

The minister's remarks came as she held a press conference Monday at the City of Culture in Tunis to outline the measures provided for in the 2023 finance law.

The assumption that economic reforms to control public finances and conclude a deal with the International Monetary Fund will be introduced was also taken into account.

Fuel subsidy spending is set to drop 25.7% to TND 5.669 billion against TND 7. 628 billion in 2022.

The government targets an overhaul of the commodity subsidy system so as to direct it towards recipients among low- and middle-income households "while preserving Tunisians' purchasing power."

Over the next four years, a progressive commodity price regulation will be undertaken; this along with the launch of an open digital platform which will allow Tunisians to register to get subsidies.

The system of energy subsidies will be revamped with a progressive transition to actual hydrocarbon tariffs, while preserving the supply role of the Tunisian Company of Refining Industries.

Electricity and gas price regulation is likewise expected while taking into account the living conditions of underprivileged groups.

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