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Tunisia: Govt cuts subsidy for industrial sectors

Following several years of budget deficit recorded by the Tunisian government, the country has started a gradual withdrawal of energy (gas and electricity) subsidy for the industrial agro-allied, textile and ceramic sectors.

Minister of Industry, Energy and Mines Kamel Ben Naceur announced the measure at a news conference here on Monday

He said the withdrawal, which started in January by about 10% cut in subsidy for ceramic companies, would continue for about three to six years.

The measure will be maintained for 2015 and will be extended particularly to agro-allied and textile industries, which the minister described as ”energy consumption sectors”.

He said those sectors need to review the subsidy, particularly for hydrocarbons, electricity and gas, within the framework of the reform of the subsidy, which hit 3.6 billion dinars (US$2.26 billion) in 2013.

”The subsidy fund will be reduced to 2.5 billion dinars (US$1.57 billion) in 2014,” he said.

The minister said national oil production has dropped by 20%, as the country’s national crude oil production fell from 77,000 barrels/day to 66,000 barrels/day.

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