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Smart cards may smarten subsidies
September 14, 2015, 9:32 am

The Government is currently conducting a study on the possibility of using smart cards by next year to ensure that subsidies are given only to deserving citizens, reports Al-Anba daily quoting reliable sources.

The study recommends categorizing citizens into three groups — the first includes 150,000 citizens with below average income so they will receive all subsidies through the smart cards and most of their needs will be covered including main services such as petrol, electricity, water, overseas treatment and scholarships.

The second and third groups will include citizens with average income and the rich respectively. They will receive the lowest percentage of subsidies through the smart cards compared to the first group, sources explained.

As for residents who have been receiving subsidized services until now, sources disclosed these subsidies will most probably be suspended and the charges will be calculated based on actual consumption. On the other hand, Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh said the government will soon present its vision to lift subsidies on several services and commodities.

He affirmed a comprehensive report regarding the vision will be referred to the Cabinet in the last quarter of this year. He clarified the government is not keen on lifting subsidies as it is rather focusing on preventing depletion of resources and ensuring that subsidies are granted only to deserving citizens.

Source: Arab Times

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