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Egypt's budget awaits amendments demanded by Sisi: Official

Randa Ali , Waad Ahmed , Tuesday 30 Jun 2015
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El-Sisi had also vetoed last year's draft budget, demanding tougher spending cuts
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The final ratification for Egypt's state budget for the fiscal year due to start on Wednesday is pending amendments demanded by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Magdy Youssef, head of the public relations department at the ministry of planning, told Ahram Online on Tuesday.

Youssef did not however reveal details on the proposed amendments.

Presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef for his part refused to unveil the expected date of ratification, saying that people will be informed once it is ratified.

He further refused to describe it as a "delay", saying that the last day ahead of the new fiscal year [Tuesday] "is not over yet".

According to Law 53 of 1973, the state budget is issued at the beginning of the fiscal year, which starts in July and finishes at the end of June the following year.

According to the constitution, Egypt's parliament should ratify the state budget.

Egypt however currently does not have an elected parliament, and the president holds all legislative authority.

On 18 June, the cabinet approved the budget proposal, almost three months after the constitutional deadline of 1 April. 

The draft was never published, but the ministry of finance had issued a pre-budget statement a few weeks earlier.

According to a cabinet statement, the approved proposal targets a 9.9 percent deficit with revenues projected at LE612 billion ($80.4 billion) and expenditure at LE885 billion ($116 billion).

Egypt has set a five-year macroeconomic plan that aims to cut the state budget deficit to 8 to 8.5 percent by 2018/2019 through reducing fuel subsidies and introducing new taxes. 

The plan began in July 2014, and one of the first measures implemented was an increase in fuel prices of up to 78 percent at the pump, while the pre-budget statement of the upcoming fiscal year announced the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT), estimating its revenues at LE 32 billion.

*This article was amended to correct the figure for public expenditure in the draft budget at the time of writing 

 

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