Algeria Seeks to Get Rid of Budget Deficit 4 Years
Algerian Finance Minister Abdel Rahman Rawi said on Saturday that his government is looking for reforms in the subsidy system as it seeks to get rid of the budget deficit within three to four years.
On the sidelines of a meeting of Arab finance ministers and IMF officials to discuss fiscal reforms in the region, Rawiya told reporters that the government could cut gasoline subsidies in 2019 and support other commodities in 2020.
He declined to identify subsidies that might be subject to reduction in 2020, saying only that the current subsidy system has kept prices for a large number of goods and services low from electricity to bread and cooking oil.
Rawaya stressed that the reduction of subsidies would be in the context of reforms aimed at making the system more efficient and further a support to low-income Algerians.
Algeria relies mainly on oil and gas revenues, and its financial situation has been supported by the recovery of world oil prices in recent months, as well as by government spending cuts.
According to IMF estimates, Algeria recorded a fiscal deficit of 3.2% of GDP last year, 13.5% in 2016.
Rawaya said the government did not expect the need to borrow money this year.