The Cabinet waived EGP 5.3 billion worth of natural gas arrears owed by factories in support of local industries and preserving investments, according to a statement.

The Cabinet approved the proposal submitted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for waiving the natural gas-overdue bills of public and private sector factories. This decision came after some factories halted operations due to their accumulated debts.

The proposal also included the exemption of penalties  for exceeding contractual quantities of natural gas outlined in the original agreement. The exempted amount is estimated at around 5.3 billion.

It should be noted that the ministry previously reduced the price of natural gas for factories to reach $4.5 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). This is in addition to scheduling debts of natural gas for periods of up to five years, to encourage and support the local industry.