CAIRO – Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi has hiked customs rates on dozens of “unnecessary” imports as part of the government’s efforts to increase revenues to revive the ailing economy.
Morsi’s decree issued late Sunday raises tariffs on a wide range of luxury goods including shrimp, gambling tables, sunglasses, nuts, and fireworks.
Egypt’s economy has been hit hard by the instability that followed the 2011 uprising that forced longtime autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak from power, particularly the vital tourism sector.
The government is currently engaged in talks with the International Monetary Fund to secure a $4.8 billion loan, which would help attract other international lenders and reassure foreign investors.
Morsi also wants to cut subsidies and raise taxes to fix the budget deficit.