CAIRO, Dec 10, 2012 (AFP) -
CAIRO, Dec 10, 2012 (AFP) –
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has suspended tax rises on a range of products, including alcohol and cigarettes, amid a dire political crisis, the official MENA news agency reported on Monday.
Morsi issued the decision overnight and tasked his prime minister, Hisham Qandil, to start talks on the taxes “so as not to increase the burden on citizens”.
The tax hikes, also affecting steel, cement and other products, were part of budget efforts Egypt has agreed to make to secure a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help its listing economy.
Plummeting tourism and foreign investment have left the country in poor economic condition as it faces a spiralling political confrontation between Morsi’s Islamist-led camp and the mostly secular opposition.
Protests and clashes have erupted in recent weeks over a bid by Morsi to push through a contested referendum on a new constitution drafted by his Islamist allies.