In his first appearance before the new House of Representatives, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the government managed to implement 100 percent of its economic reform program and reviewed achievements in various filelds, including success in mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus amid tough times.
Madbouly said the government has been committed to informing people and the House of Representatives on the developments in implementing its policy program over the past two years.
He explained that the government presented three reports to the previous House since the current cabinet took office in June 2018, the latest of which was in November last year.
The House of Representaives had summoned on Sunday the prime minister to present on the government's overall policies.
After the prime minister concluded his speech to the parliament, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hanafy El-Gebaly hailed the government’s program, saying it reflects the presidential comprehensive and ambitious vision toward 2030.
El-Gebaly affirmed the importance of continuing productive cooperation between the government and the House
He noted that more ministers will come to the parliament’s headquarters later to deliver their speeches.
Investments, unemployment and national projects
The PM told the House that the government’s total investments over the past two years amounted to EGP 324 billion.
The inflation rate decreased to 5.7%, the lowest in 14 years, Madbouly said, adding that the government managed to control prices of food commodities and increase the supply of strategic goods.
Egypt's newly-seated House of Representatives had summoned on Sunday the prime minister and other ministers to present and answer questions on the government's 'Egypt Kicks Off' programme.
The premier hailed the role of the national projects implemented by the state in securing more job opportunities, noting that the unemployment rate has dropped back down to 7.3%
The unemployment rate during the third quarter of the fiscal year 2019/20 was 7.7% but later increased to 9.6% owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Madbouly said.
He added the measures taken by the state amid the pandemic pushed the unemployment rate down to 7.3% in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Madbouly added that the government has completed the construction of 53 sewage treatment plants nationwide over the past two years.
In the energy field, Madbouly said the total value of the state’s investment in research, development and operation efforts reached $11 billion over the last two years.
He also said another $50 million in oil and gas were invested in the field.
As many as 3.7 million pre-charged and smart electricity metres have been installed nationwide to collect electrical bills.
By 2023, Egypt will achieve self-sufficiency in petroleum products, Madbouly said.
The country managed to achieve self-sufficiency in natural gas last year, he expalined, adding that government recently converted 141 areas nationwide to natural gas, he expalined.
The state has constructed seven seawater desalination plants with a total capacity of 250,000 cubic metres and a cost of EGP 4 billion, the PM said, noting that these plants serve 1.4 million citizens in Red Sea cities.
With a total investment of EGP 34 billion, the state generated an additional 2,700 MW of power, he added.
Fighting the pandemic
On coronavirus, Madbouly said the government's efforts has spared the Egyptian people from the worst repercussions of the pandemic and continued normal operations during hard and cruel times.
The PM said Egypt managed to balance the scales between protecting citizens’ lives and keeping the economy open during the pandemic.
He added that the government has known since the start of the crisis that closing the economy would eventually leave the country in a bad place.
Egypt has been among the best countries in the world in dealing with the pandemic and has been one of the countries least affected by the virus, he said.
He added that Egypt ranked second after China in terms of economic development in 2020.
Madbouly stressed that Egypt's efforts in the face of the pandemic have been hailed internationally.
On the Libyan crisis and the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Madbouly said that the state has adopted balanced policies in dealing with foreign powers.
He affirmed that Egypt's foreign policy aims at maintaining balance, supporting the security of Arab Gulf countries, while protecting the country's national security.
Madbouly affirmed the importance the government attaches to poorer classes, noting that 32 million citizens have been included under various social protection programs.
He added that the government has granted cash support to around 3.6 million families.
The state’s policies over the past period lowered the poverty rate for the first time in 20 years to 29.7%, down from 32.5% in 2017-2018.
Developing Upper Egypt
On the government’s program to develop Upper Egypt, the PM said 2,575 developmental projects have been implemented in Qena and Sohag governorates as part of the program’s first phase.
He noted that around 205,000 direct and indirect job opportunities have been created through these projects.
The first phase of the presidential program “Decent Life,” which aims to provide better living conditions for needy people, included 68 villages in five governorates, Madbouly said.
Investments pumped by the state for the first phase of this program reached EGP 2 billion, he noted.
A total of 625 projects have been included in the first phase, 400 of which have already been implemented and operated, the PM added.
Madbouly said the Egyptian president has directed the government to include in the second phase of the program 20 governorates that house 18 million citizens.
Egypt jumped up 90 ranks in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitive Report in the quality of road infrastructure, Madbouly said, leaping to the 28th place instead of 118th in 2014.
Madbouly said the state has already constructed roads across the country with a total length of 45,00 kilometres.
A new transportation network for the new cities is also being implemented, Madbouly said, including a high-speed electric train system or monorail.
So far, Egypt has imported 250 locomotives and 1,300 rail carriages as part of its overall efforts to develop the railway system, the premier said, adding that relevant authorities also developed existing locomotives and rail carriages.
He also said that the government is upgrading and linking the railway’s signalling systems for the first time to achieve the best levels of security for citizens.