Egypt's finance minister to address parliament on 2018/19 budget

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 14 Apr 2018

The new budget aims to achieve a GDP growth of 5.8 per cent, lower the budget deficit to 8.4 per cent of GDP, and cut public debt to 91 per cent

File Photo: Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy at a news conference in Cairo, Egypt 11 August, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy is scheduled Sunday to address the parliament on the country's new budget for the 2018/19 fiscal year.

A parliamentary report said Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform Hala El-Saeed will also address the parliament in Sunday's plenary session on Egypt's Socioeconomic Plan for the 2018/19 year.

Egypt's new budget and plan were referred to parliament's Budget Committee one week ago after they were approved by the cabinet in their final form 30 March.

According to Egypt's constitution and parliament's internal bylaws, the country's new budget and plan should be submitted to the House of Representatives three months ahead of the end of its legislative season in July of each year.

After the two ministers address parliament Sunday, their statements and the budget and plan will be discussed in the Budget Committee.

Each of parliament's other committees will also hold hearing sessions to discuss the part of the budget and plan related to its business and activities.

At the end of the debate, which is expected to take one month, a general parliamentary report on the new 2018/19 budget and plan will be prepared to be discussed and voted on in a plenary session.

Article 124 of Egypt's constitution gives parliament complete powers to amend any of the budget's items. In case of amending expenditure items, this should be done in coordination with the government.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on 12 April said Egypt's 2018/19 budget targets a GDP growth of 5.8 per cent, up from 5.2 per cent in the current fiscal year, a budget deficit of 8.4 per cent of GDP, 91 per cent public debt, and a two per cent primary budget surplus.

The statement said the new budget targets expenditure of LE1.41 trillion and investment worth LE100 billion, up from LE70 billion in the current budget.

While the new budget will see a 15.5 per cent increase in expenditure, it also seeks to increase revenues by 21.6 per cent.

"This will come through boosting tax and fiscal revenues, focusing on administrative and institutional reform, and switching to cash instead of in-kind subsidies," the statement said.

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