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Dalia Does...Driving

Petrol on Plastic

Egypt's petroleum minister has confirmed the introduction of smart cards for buying fuel to help avoid shortages in the future.

You might have noticed billboards across the city asking you to register your car online. Once you do that, you'll be issued with a smart card that you must present at gas stations whenever you're filling up on fuel. This scheme, set to roll out in 2014, is designed not to limit your fuel usage but to help the government make sure petrol is appropriately distributed around the country in order to avoid the chronic shortages Egypt has been suffering from over the last few years. It will also present an opportunity for Egypt to reduce its expenditure on fuel subisidies which have have recently sky-rocketed, costing the government millions which are desperately needed elsewhere. This will work by allocating every car a certain amount of subsidised fuel and asking drivers to pay non-subsidised prices for fuel they require after they've used that up, with all of this data stored in each smart card.