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Egypt slashes factories’ natural gas subsidies

Egypt has cut its natural gas subsidies to several industries increasing gas prices by 30-75%, part of a broad government strategy to cut back subsidies that eat up to a fifth of its annual budget, Reuters has reported. Saturday’s new decision would increase the price of natural gas to $8 per one million thermal units for the cement factories and to $7 for the iron, steel, aluminium, copper, ceramic and glass industries. Last March, the government allowed cement companies to use coal for energy to avoid potential public anger over frequent blackouts that started after the 2011 uprising.