Algeria says to slash public spending, Sonatrach to roll back investments

Public spending will be cut by 30%.
Monday 23/03/2020
The logo of Algerian state energy company Sonatrach is pictured on a gate outside the headquarters in Algiers, Algeria, June 26, 2016. (Reuters)
The logo of Algerian state energy company Sonatrach is pictured on a gate outside the headquarters in Algiers, Algeria, June 26, 2016. (Reuters)

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune ordered the government to cut public spending by 30% and delay state projects to cope with financial pressures, the presidency said in a statement.

President Tebboune also asked the state energy firm Sonatrach to reduce planned investment to $7 billion from $14 billion, the statement said, after a cabinet meeting held Sunday to discuss state finances and the global oil market in the wake of the collapse in the price of oil.

The 2020 budget had been based on an oil price of $60 per barrel, but prices dipped to $22.50 at one stage last week, due to the impact of the deadly new coronavirus on global demand and a price war among major oil producers.

Algeria's state oil giant Sonatrach would be required to halve operating and capital expenditure in order to preserve the nation's foreign currency reserves, the statement said.

But the government would not slash civil servants' wages and it hoped not to have to reduce spending on health or education, it added.

(With news agencies)