CAIRO, July 15 (Xinhua) -- International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chief for Egypt Chris Jarvis has voiced "strong support for Cairo's economic reform program," according to official news agency MENA on Saturday.
"Measures taken by the Egyptian government, such as increasing the prices of fuel and electricity and imposing the value-added tax, should have a positive impact on the budget," Jarvis said in statement to MENA.
"Such measures help achieve initial surplus in the budget of the Egyptian government for the first time in 10 years," he added, describing it as "an important achievement."
Increasing the prices of fuel and electricity was part of the Egyptian government plan to reduce energy subsidy to secure more funds for better education and social protection programs, the IMF's official said.
The IMF said Thursday that it had approved a second loan installment worth 1.25 billion dollars for Egypt.
Egypt agreed to a three-year, 12 billion dollars loan program in November that is tied to ambitious economic reforms such as subsidy cuts and tax hikes.