The government has no plans to raise fuel prices during the current fiscal year, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, confirmed during an interview on the Extra News channel, according to Amwal Al Ghad.

The Finance Minister, Amr El Garhy, had previously said the same, Ahram Online reported in September.

Egypt has reduced its fuel subsidies several times over the past few years, beginning in July 2014, El Molla noted.

The government aims to shift its resources from fuel subsidies to programs that will provide greater assistance to Egypt’s poor, such as education, transportation, and health, El Molla stated.

In June 2017, the government further reduced its fuel subsidies, seeking to ease the strain on its budget. The decision led to higher gasoline and diesel prices, but, according to the Prime Minister, Sherif Ismail, the cuts could no longer be postponed, Ahram Online reported.

El Garhy’s comments were made following the release of an IMF report in September that called for additional fuel subsidy cuts. The IMF has since confirmed that the Egyptian government will set the pace for future reductions in its fuel-subsidy program, according to Al Mal News.

An IMF delegation arrived in Cairo on October 24th to discuss Egypt’s economic-reform program, Amwal Al Ghad reported. Under an agreement with the IMF for a $12 billion stabilization loan, the Egyptian government agreed to implement a number of economic reforms, including cuts to its fuel-subsidy program.