Egypt is seeking to increase its previously-requested $4.8bn (€3.7bn) loan from the International Monetary Fund to cover its soaring budget deficit.

The minister told Al-Mal daily financial newspaper that if a deal with the IMF is not reached before May, talks will be postponed until October.

Parliamentary elections are expected to start in May.

An IMF delegation is currently in Cairo for loan talks.

Ashraf El-Araby said in remarks carried by Al Masry Al Youm newspaper that: "Egypt will intensify its efforts in the spring meetings of the IMF in the period from April 16-21 to receive additional funding."

He said that the funding is "to cover the financing deficit until mid-2015." 

Mr El-Araby said: "There are ongoing discussions to increase the loan, estimated at $4.8 billion but it may rise, especially with the increase in the budget deficit to $20 billion( €15.4bn).