Egypt's finance ministry plans to allocate a part of the savings made from the government's ongoing economic reform plan to support social protection programmes, Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy announced Sunday.
In a statement emailed by the ministry, El-Garhy said that the allocations would represent one percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Egypt's GDP stood at EGP 2.7 trillion in the fiscal year 2015/16, according to the latest data on the website of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
The country started a fiscal reform programme in July 2014 in an attempt to curb a growing state budget deficit, which registered 12.2 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2015/16, through cutting subsidies and introducing new taxes.
El-Garhy said the reforms that would be implemented in the coming fiscal year 2017/18 would include more spending on social security pensions as well as healthcare, medication, low-cost housing, milk for infants and technical training for youth.
Egypt’s total subsidy bill in the coming fiscal year (2017/18) is estimated at EGP 385 billion, up from EGP 285 billion in the current fiscal year, El-Garhy told Al-Ahram daily in an interview published last week.
El-Garhy said that the bill includes food subsidies and social safety network initiatives Takaful and Karama.
The Takaful and Karama programme, established by the government in early 2015, is a national social safety net programme aimed at protecting the poor through income support.