Egypt’s state budget for the 2020/2021 fiscal year, which begins on Wednesday, is the largest in the country’s history at EGP 2.2 trillion.
The budget saw an increase in spending to reach EGP 1.7 trillion, EGP 138.6 billion more than the FY2019/2020 budget, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the ministry said that all budget payments will be paid using electronic methods, and that all state bodies are committed to submitting their financial enhancement requests through the government financial management information system (GFMIS).
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said that the new budget includes an increase in public investments of EGP 280.7 billion and a 26.4 percent increase in investments that are financed by the public treasury, to reach EGP 177 billion, compared to EGP 140 billion in FY2019/2020.
This is the largest such increase ever, the minister said, and is directed at accelerating the national economy process and providing new job opportunities.
Maait also noted that all FY2020/2021 allocations have been sent to the beneficiary bodies with a commitment to apply public spending rationalisation rules in line with Egypt’s social and economic trajectory and in light of the presidential instruction to implement public spending reprioritising amid the COVID-19 crisis and to maintain the economic reform programme’s gains.
Maait also said that total allocations for health, education, scientific research and the public business sector have increased to EGP 682.5 billion, up from EGP 545 billion in FY2019/2020, asserting that the ministry is committed to extending all needed support for the sector through providing extra allocations during the year when needed.
Health allocations are worth EGP 258.8 billion in FY2020/2021, with investments increasing by EGP 7 billion to support the vital sector, the minister said.
Pre-university education has been allocated EGP 241.6 billion, higher education EGP 122 billion, and scientific research EGP 60.4 billion.
Maait said that the new budget aims to amend wage structures through a package of procedures worth EGP 34 billion; EGP 335 billion was allocated for state workers, in addition to a 7 percent bonus for those employed under the civil service law and a bonus of 12 percent for state workers who are not governed by its provisions.
He added that the tax exemption limit will be raised by 60 percent as of July.
The new budget also includes an unprecedented increase in the allocation for the pharmaceuticals sector to reach EGP 11 billion, up from EGP 9.1 billion in FY2019/2020 to support baby milk. EGP 7 billion was also allocated for treatment at the state’s expense, up from EGP 6.6 billion in FY2019/2020, according to Maait.
Maait added that EGP 3.4 billion has been allocated for transport, and EGP 6.4 billion for support and grants for development.
“The electronic management of the FY2019/2020 budget has contributed to controlling the financial performance, increasing public spending efficiency, controlling spending, and providing accurate and up-to-date data regarding the implementation of the budget,” read the statement.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Saeed said previously that Egypt’s economic growth is projected to reach 4 percent during 2020, with a GDP loss estimated at EGP 105 billion in FY2019/2020, which is a lower loss than other countries worldwide.