By Mohamed Adel
Government agencies currently owe the Ministry of Petroleum a total of EGP 160bn for petroleum products, according to a senior official at the ministry, who added these agencies owed about EGP 157bn at the end of April.
The Ministry of Finance owes the Ministry of Petroleum about EGP 92bn, of which EGP 32bn can be attributed to a rise in the price of fuel supplied to power plants.
The Ministry of Electricity pays $2.50 per cubic metre of gas to generate electricity, compared to the Ministry of Petroleum, which pays $0.18, although the Ministry of Petroleum receives the price differences directly from the finance ministry, according to the official.
The official attributed the rise in debts owed to the Ministry of Petroleum to the fact that the Ministry of Finance has not paid the full value of subsidies for petroleum products. This has pushed the Ministry of Petroleum to pay from its own resources and has led to an accumulation of debts.
Approximately EGP 50bn of this amount, which goes towards petroleum product subsidies, was settled and deducted from the overall revenue of the Ministry of Petroleum. This amount will go towards the state treasury, taxes, and customs levied on petroleum. According to the official, this will cause the Ministry of Finance to be indebted to the Ministry of Petroleum at the end of each year.
The official also stated that the value of subsidies for the second half of the current fiscal year, estimated at EGP 64bn so far, have not been settled as of yet.
EgyptAir owes the Ministry of Petroleum about EGP 5bn as a result of its failure to pay for the full price of the fuel it consumes. It has also stopped paying for its monthly installments of fuel, which account for EGP 25m of the debt, the official said.
The official also noted that the total amount due to the Ministry of Petroleum, from the electricity, transportation, railway, contracting, and industrial sectors is estimated to be approximately EGP 63bn.