By Mohamed Adel
The Ministry of Finance owed the Ministry of Petroleum EGP 90bn at the end of March, compared with EGP 118bn in February, Tareq Al-Mula, president of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), said Saturday. The total dues owed by the Ministries of Electricity, Transport, and Aviation stood at about EGP 66bn.
Al-Mula said that the Ministry of Electricity still owes EGP 200m per month for the fuel which has been pumped to the plants for more than seven months. The power plants consume about EGP 2bn in fuel per month.
Before the payment by the finance ministry in March, EGP 61bn of its debt was from the period between 2005 and 2010, EGP 50bn was from the past three years, and EGP 6bn was from the first quarter of the current fiscal year. On top of this, the Ministry of Finance has not given the subsidy over the petroleum products produced in the third quarter of this fiscal year to EGPC, a senior EGPC official said.
The ministries of Petroleum and Finance disagreed over the value of the subsidies for the current fiscal year, as the first did not want to reduce the value of the fuel allocations that were granted by Arab countries, which were estimated at $4.8 billion in the first half of the year. There has been no calculation as to how much was given during the second half.
This created a problem with foreign partners, whom Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail promised to pay $1bn over the next month for dues owed. Total debts amounted to $6bn at the end of April, according to the official.
EGPC requested that the Ministry of Finance deliver the agreed amount, but the ministry did not respond.
The request comes amid the finance ministry’s efforts to allocate $1bn to import natural gas for electricity before the end of the month.