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Sunday, 18 August 2019

Egypt's new budget and development plan approved by parliament

The move came after a three-day debate and amid sharp criticism from leftist MPs

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 25 Jun 2019
Egyptian Parliament (Reuters)
Egyptian Parliament (Reuters)
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In a plenary session held on Monday afternoon, Egyptian MPs voted in favor of approving the country's new budget and sustainable development plan for 2019/20. 

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said that parliament's debates and remarks on the new budget and plan will be referred to the government for observation.

The budget is estimated at EGP 1.979 trillion (32.1 percent of GDP), expenditures are valued at EGP 1. 574 trillion (25.6 percent), and revenues are estimated at EGP 1.424 trillion (10.6 percent). As a result, a monetary deficit of EGP 440,134 billion is expected.

A parliamentary report said that EGP 301.1 billion (4.9 percent of GDP) has been earmarked for salaries and wages. 

"This means an increase of EGP 31 billion (11.5 percent) from last year," said the report.

The report said that the budget allocated EGP 569 billion (9.2 percent) to serve interest rate payments on local and foreign loans. 

"This represents an increase of EGP 27.8 billion (5.1 percent) from last year," said the report.

On the other hand, "the allocations earmarked for social protection measures are estimated at EGP 327.7 billion (5.3 percent of GDP) compared to EGP 328.2 billion last year, or a drop of EGP 592 million (0.2 percent)."

The report also says that fuel subsidies will be cut from EGP 89.75 billion last year to EGP 52.963 billion this year; a drop of EGP 36.112 billion (40.5 percent). 

"Electricity subsidies will be also cut by EGP 12 billion (75 percent), from EGP 16 billion last year to EGP 4 billion in the new fiscal year.

The report said that the budget aims to push the economic growth rate to 6 percent in the coming year and reduce the budget deficit to 7.2 percent of GDP (compared to 8.4 percent last year). 

"It also aims to boost government investments by 30 percent, or EGP 130 billion from last year, reduce public debts to 89 percent of GDP and to 80 percent in 2021/22," said the report.

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