The state-run General Petroleum Authority (GPA) accounted for 55.3 percent of the total financial surplus achieved by all economy-related government authorities for the 2008/2009 state budget.
In a statement issued Sunday, the Petroleum Ministry pointed to a recent report by the Central Auditing Agency on the state budget for the last fiscal year revealing that the GPA alone had realized an LE18.6-billion surplus out of a total surplus of LE57.6 billion achieved by 31 economy-related state organs.
The ministry went on to announce that the GPA had accounted for 55.3 percent of the total surplus, followed by Suez Canal revenues of LE13.2 billion (39 percent), while remaining authorities had realized a combined surplus of LE1.8 billion.
Ahmed Ezz, chairman of parliament’s planning and budget committee, had earlier noted that the GPA was responsible for subsidizing petroleum products–a heavy financial burden–and asked parliament to assess the impact of this burden on the authority’s financial position. Ezz went on to say that the GPA had subsidized diesel fuel, butane gas, natural gas, gasoline, kerosene and mazut to the tune of LE62 billion during the last fiscal year, compared to a mere LE1 billion during the 1998/1999 fiscal year.
In a related development, a local petroleum expert said the state treasury should help the GPA meet its obligations by providing petroleum products through local and international purchases. He added that there had been a marked increase in the local consumption of petroleum products in the past seven years and attributed subsidy increases to reduced production levels, gas exports and the concurrent import of more costly energy products, such as mazut.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.