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Egypt to freeze LE44.2 bn worth of 'special funds'

Monies raised by state institutions may be frozen as the government sets rules on how they should be spent, claims report

Ahram Online, Thursday 5 Apr 2012
El-Saeed says a law is being drafted to include 'private funds' in state budget (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's government is mulling freezing the accounts of 355 "special funds" worth around LE44.2 billion ($7.4 billion), Al-Ahram's Arabic portal reported Thursday.
"Special funds" are monies raised by state institutions through means other than customs or taxes, such as hospital fees or parking tickets.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will ask Egyptian banks to freeze all such funds until the government sets specific rules on how they should be used, the report claims.
From the 355 funds, 351 hold some LE36.2 billion assigned to specific government bodies. Four funds, holding around LE8 billion are unidentified, and
the government is currently trying to trace them back to their beneficiaries.
Freezing these funds could have severe consequences as they are used to pay the salaries of thousands of employees.
Egypt's parliament has called for including all private funds in the state budget, bringing them under their supervision.
In February, Finance Minister Momtaz El-Saeed said that the government was preparing a draft law aimed at incorporating these private funds into the state treasury in two phases. 
The monies will be entirely subsumed into Egypt’s state budget by the 2013/14 fiscal year, he said.
Fayza Abul Naga, minister of planning and international cooperation, told Al-Ahram Arabic gate that the government has not borrowed any money from private funds to cover its deficit.
She added that the government will form a committee to determine ways to spend the private funds.
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