A source in the government, who declined to be named, told Egypt Oil & Gas that butane subsidies for high-class citizens would be definitely eliminated within the next three years. People from low-income social classes will be excluded from the process.

The new plan involves rising the price of gas canister to EGP 35, instead of the official subsidized price of EGP 30, during the first year. Prices will then reach EGP40 in the second year, and increase to the final level of EGP 52 in the third, reflecting the costs per canister the state pays.

The source explained that the approval of the new parliament was a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of the plan in local markets. The approval is expected before the end of the current fiscal year as it is linked to the issuing of smart cards to those entitled to butane subsidies. He added that the decision was not within the remit of the Ministry of Petroleum, but in the hands of members of the new parliament.

The source pointed out that a database of persons entitled to butane subsidies had been established. There are 18.5m eligible families registered in the database, each with 18 coupons for up to 3 butane cylinders every two months, at a price of EGP 8  per cylinder. He added that some 1.2m cylinders a day will continue to be provided to all provinces to avoid a crisis in local markets.