The Egyptian government has been mulling paying financial assistance to struggling state-owned textile factories, but ongoing political unease surrounding a key referendum has delayed such plans.

In December, the government announced it was planning to work with banks to provide EGP5bn (US$725.7m) to restructure indebted state-run textile manufacturers, which employ some 60,000 people.

But as of last week, such plans to restructure the textile sector have still not gone ahead.

"The government has been saying nice statements about helping the sector, but this hasn't happened yet. It may change once the referendum is over," said a senior source at an Egyptian textile manufacturer that wanted anonymity.

A referendum on a new constitution was held on 14-15 January.

The day before the vote, Egyptian daily Al-Hayat reported that 12 banks in coordination with the Central Bank of Egypt were planning to provide a loan agreement of EGP50m(US$7.1m) to the Weaving and Textile Company in Mahalla, northern Egypt, which has been hamstrung by debt.