(MENAFN) Egyptian Planning Minister, Ashraf Al Araby, stated that the government will not apply several planned tax hikes at the current time, reported Gulf News.
Al Araby said that the government is carrying out meetings with different parts of the Egyptian society, including businessmen, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and other groups, in order to convince them that the country is in bad need for austerity measures that comprise tax hikes, in order to find a solution for the financial problem.
He added that the government will raise taxes after the end of the social dialogue that its is currently holding, expected to take more than 2 weeks.
At the start of December, the government announced increases in the sales tax on a range of goods and services; however, President Mohammad Mursi postponed the measure, as Egypt was getting ready for a referendum on a contentious new constitution.
Egypt will not be able to secure a USD4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unless it applied the austerity measures, considered necessary for the IMF's approval.
Nevertheless, the government has asked the global lender to postpone a meeting it had scheduled to endorse the loan for a month, to enable Egypt to gain more support for the moves.
It is worth noting that Egypt required USD14.5 billion to fill an external finance gap through the end of June 2014, and the government has been negotiating for loans from the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other international organizations, in addition to the IMF's loan.