By Masood Ahmed
Of all the regions in the world, the Middle East and North Africa region stands out as the one that relies the most on generalized energy subsidies. In energy-rich countries, governments provide subsidies to their populations as a way of sharing the natural resource wealth. In the region’s energy-importing countries, governments use subsidies to offer people some relief from high commodity prices, especially since social safety nets are often weak.
The question is: does this well-intended social protection policy represent the most efficient way to channel aid to the most vulnerable? The answer is no!
Filed under: Emerging Markets, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, Investment, Middle East, Politics, عربي | Tagged: energy subsidies, environment, fiscal policy, governments, inequality, MENA, oil, oil prices, reform | Leave a comment »