Egypt says to pay fuel tankers waiting to dock -newspaper

CAIRO, March 26 (Reuters) - Egypt's government has allocated

$235 million of funds to pay for imported fuel cargoes and "a

long queue of tankers" are waiting off the coast to discharge

badly needed diesel, the oil minister said in remarks published

on Tuesday.

Shortages of subsidised diesel have paralyzed transport in

parts of Egypt, as the cash-strapped government faces pressure

to curb energy subsidies that swallow up a fifth of its budget.

The finance ministry has approved $235 million to pay for

fuel and diesel deliveries, Oil Minister Osama Kamal told the

business newspaper al-Mal.

"A long queue of tankers carrying refined products are

currently waiting at three Egyptian ports to discharge," he


The newspaper said at least 13 tankers carrying around

65,000 tonnes of diesel, known as solar in Egypt, and 75,000

tonnes in other refined products such as petrol were waiting off

the coast to get paid.

Egypt, which has endured two years of political instability

since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, is trying to

control a soaring budget deficit and secure a $4.8 billion loan

from the IMF.

It is working on an economic programme where it plans to cut

back on subsidies of fuel. Last year it eliminated subsidies on

95-octane gasoline, the highest grade available, and it raised

fuel prices in many sectors last month.

The government has said it plans to implement a subsidised

fuel rationing system at the beginning of July.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alison Birrane)