Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that Egyptian railroads require EGP180 billion ($9.5 billion) for development at a time when the state cannot increase the price of train tickets.
El-Sisi, speaking at a televised youth conference in Upper Egypt’s Aswan governorate, underlined the importance of developing a public culture in Egypt that is aware that any service has to be paid for, else services deteriorates and end.
According to El-Sisi, since 2014 the country has been working effectively on developmental projects, but added: “The state used to provide services for the people, but didn’t receive anything in return, thus [services] deteriorate.”
“If the true price, and not the subsidised price, for the service is not paid, we cannot continue,” the president stated.
The event was part of an initiative to hold monthly youth conferences, adopted at the first annual National Youth Conference in October.
El-Sisi arrived in Aswan where he shook hands with a group of tourists on the streets of the city, later joining a group of youth as they watched Egypt play Ghana in the African Cup of Nations tournament.
During his visit, the Egyptian president is scheduled to inaugurate the new Aswan Public Hospital, which has 15 outpatient clinics. The establishment of the new six-floor hospital cost EGP140 million, in addition to EGP155 million spent in equipping the hospital.
In 2014, Egypt embarked on a plan to introduce a number of fiscal reforms, including fuel-subsidy cuts, as well as imposing new taxes to ease a growing budget deficit.
In November 2016, Egypt's Central Bank decided to freely float the pound and raise key interest rates as part of a set of reforms aimed at alleviating a dollar shortage and stabilising the country's flagging economy.
Egypt’s economic growth rate registered 4.3 percent of GDP in the fiscal year 2015/16, down from 4.4 percent in the previous year.