The cost of Egypt’s fuel subsidies rose 67.86% year on year (Y.o.Y.) for the first quarter of the fiscal year, according to the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla,  Al Arabiya News reports.

During the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2017/2018, Egypt spent EGP 23.5 billion on its fuel subsidies, compared to EGP 14 billion during the same quarter in FY 2016/2017, the newspaper reports.

Even though expenditures rose, they fell below budgetary expectations. The government had expected to spend EGP 27.5 billion on fuel subsidies during the first quarter, El Molla said, according to Amwal Al Ghad. Actual outlays were EGP 4 billion less than that figure.

Lower consumption will directly contribute to governmental savings, El Molla noted.

Despite the fiscal strain, Egypt is not considering raising fuel prices prior to June 2018, Amwal Al Ghad reports.

In dollar terms, the governmental expenditures on the fuel subsidy have fallen. Since the first quarter of FY 2016/2017, the EGP has lost approximately half of its value against the US dollar.

The minister also noted during the press conference that pre-operation trials at the gas-processing plant at Zohr had begun.