No intention to impose new taxes in Egypt: Finance minister

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 14 Sep 2021

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait also said that Egypt is set to provide more stimulus packages to the private sector for the sake of maximising its role in the development process the country is witnessing

Finance minister

In a seminar organised by the Canada Egypt Business Council Forum on Tuesday, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait assured that the government has no intention to impose any new taxes as of yet.

He added that the state is currently intensifying its efforts to achieve tax justice, uplift the efficiency of tax collection, enhance governance, and expand the tax base by merging the informal and formal economies.

The minister also said that Egypt is set to provide more stimulus packages to the private sector for the sake of maximising its role in the development process the country is witnessing, which is expected to boost Egypt’s national economic structure and create job opportunities for one million unemployed Egyptians.

He explained that Egypt’s second wave of reforms — which focus primarily on structural reforms — aim to create an attractive environment for investors.

In this regard, Maait expounded that the government disbursed EGP 28 billion from exporters’ dues from the Export Development Fund between March 2020 and June 2021, adding that the government has allocated EGP 8 billion in the current FY2021/2022’s budget to support the export sector.

“This allocation will help provide the sector with the cash liquidity required for the production cycle and to maintain the workforce amid the severe challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on economies globally, including Egypt,” Maait explained.

He also stated that EGP 358 billion have been appropriated in the current FY2021/22 budget to finance public investments, execute national projects, improve the country’s infrastructure, stimulate economic activity, and achieve Egypt’s sustainable development goals agenda.

Moreover, the government allocated EGP 500 million to support automobile exporters operating in the Egyptian market, according to the minister.

Regarding Egypt’s project to modernise the taxation and customs systems, Maait revealed that the government is aiming to utilise artificial intelligence technology to manage the two systems, which will track all online transactions. The systems are set to be launched sometime in 2022.

In terms of Egypt’s economic performance amid the ongoing crisis, the minister said that it has exceeded the expectations of all international institutions, adding that Egypt has been one of the best countries regarding the efficiency of its pro-active package utilisation.

The pro-active package is a EGP 100 billion stimulus that Egypt released amid the first wave of the pandemic to boost its economy and protect it against the harsh impacts of the crisis.

In this respect, Egypt’s GDP growth reached 3.3 percent in FY2020/21, becoming one of the few countries that had witnessed positive growth in that period, while the overall deficit declined to 7.4 percent in the same FY, down from the 12.5 percent recorded in FY 2015/16, according to Maait.

He also said that Egypt managed to accumulate around 2 percent of initial surplus in FY2020/21, as opposed to the initial deficit of 3.5 percent reached in FY2015/16.

The annual budget’s revenues also increased by 12.2 percent, according to the minister.

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