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Egypt public spending to be directed to local firms: Finance minister

Momtaz El-Saeed announces new public procurement rules that will help encourage the country's small and medium-size businesses

Ahram Online, Friday 20 Jul 2012
Egypt cash-counting
New finance ministry stipulations will mean cash is counted closer than ever (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's government is to direct public spending towards domestic firms and enact further cost-cutting measures in its public procurement policies, Finance Minister Momtaz El-Saeed said in a statement Friday.

Under new guidelines, 10 per cent of total state procurements will come from Egypt's small and medium-size businesses, the minister said.
 
A further attempt to prioritise local industry comes in the stipulation that all new public projects will be obliged to use 40 per cent local goods and services.
 
It wasn't all good news for small businesses. El-Saeed also announced that less intensive industries, which use butane gas sold at heavily-subsidised consumer rates rather than more expensive industrial ones, will now have to apply to the Ministry of Petroleum to be officially allocated gas.
 
In a further bid to rationalise expenses, all Egyptian governors and ministries are being asked to shorten any business trips outside the country and limit the size of their delegations.
 
The announcement follows curbs on government spending revealed by El-Saeed on Thursday
 
They included a ban on the creation of 'private funds' -- controversial monies raised by state institutions through means other than customs or taxes -- and restrictions on car purchases for public employees.
 
Egypt's budget for the 2012-13 financial year sets total expenditure at LE635.4 billion (approx $105.9bn).
 
Around LE28.7 billion of this figure is allocated to governmental purchases and LE55 billion for public investment.
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