Egypt’s parliament voted on Monday in favour of granting an additional increase in pensions and basic salaries for state employees.
Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal told Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy that the 15 percent increase approved by the government in this respect in the new 2018/19 budget is not enough.
"We want an additional increase of at least EGP 40 for pensions and basic salaries for all state employees, because parliament's job at this critical stage is to support poor and limited-income citizens as much as possible," Abdel-Aal said.
In response, Minister El-Garhy said "the additional increase required by parliament will cost the government EGP 4 billion because each increase by EGP 10 costs us EGP 1 billion in additional funds."
"But upon your request I can change allocations in the new budget to meet this objective and so please give me your prior approval before I go ahead in this direction," El-Garhy said.
El-Garhy said state employees at the government's administrative apparatus who fall under the Civil Service Law of 2016 are to receive the following additional bonuses: EGP 160 per month for rank four, EGP 150 for ranks one, two and three, and EGP 140 for "a general manager rank, and these will form part of the basic salary as of the first of July 2018."
El-Garhy said the government plans to generate as much as EGP 1.4 trillion in tax revenues by 2022.
"We also aim to reduce the budget deficit to less than 4 percent of GDP in 2022," El-Garhy said, adding that "tax revenues rose from EGP 300 billion in 2014/15, and are targeted to reach EGP 770 billion in 2018/19 to play a bigger role in bridging the budget deficit."
El-Garhy also said that the new budget was designed on the grounds that the price per oil barrel on the world markets stands at 76 percent.
"But this price rose on international markets last week to $88," El-Garhy said. “However, after the decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia to inject greater supplies of oil into the market, we have high hopes that the price will drop again, helping our budget go ahead as planned."