Egypt's Senate to discuss the state's FY 2022/23 socio-economic development plan

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 28 May 2022

The Senate – Egypt's consultative upper house of parliament – will reconvene this week to hold plenary sessions on Sunday and Monday.

Egyptian senate


According to the schedule of debate, the Senate will meet Sunday to discuss a report prepared by the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee on the state's FY 2022/23 socio-economic development plan. The debate goes in line with Article 248 of Egypt's 2019 amended constitution which assigns the responsibility to the Senate. The Senate, however, is not allowed to discuss the annual budget.

Egypt's new FY 2022/23 budget and socio-economic development plan are also currently being discussed by the House of Representatives.

In a statement before the committee on 16 May, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said indicated that the Russia-Ukraine crisis caused a negative impact that led the government to downgrade the country's economic growth rate from six percent at the end of the current FY 2021/22 to 5.7 percent in the new FY 2022/23.

"We, however, expect it to resume climbing again to reach 6.2 percent and 6.5 percent in the following two years, which are higher than the 3.3 percent recorded in FY 2020/21 and of those achieved by other countries, currently ranging between three to four percent," said El-Said.

According to El-Said, the domestic gross rate is expected to reach EGP 9.26 trillion at the current prices, with a growth rate of 16.3 percent, compared to EGP 7.96 trillion last year.

"At the same time we aim to achieve an investment boom, and we expect that investments will continue to exceed EGP one trillion for the second year, to reach EGP 1.45 trillion in the new fiscal year, compared to an expected EGP 1.24 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2021/22, with a growth rate of 17 percent," said El-Said, indicating that "an expected amount of EGP 1.1 trillion (76 percent) will go to public investments, compared to EGP 350 billion to private investments."

El-Said said priority in public investments will be given to completing national projects 70 percent of which had been implemented.

She added that achieving a higher economic growth rate is not the only objective of the new socio-economic development plan, because it also aims to reduce the unemployment rate to 7.05 per cent. "This will be achieved by implementing infrastructural reforms and modernising the system of technical education," said El-Said.

El-Said also indicated that one of the main objectives of the FY 2022/23 socio-economic development plan is to contain the inflationary pressures caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

"In this respect the plan gives utmost importance to providing subsidies to poor and vulnerable classes which are the ones seriously affected by the ‘imported inflation’ caused by the war," said El-Said.

If approved, the Senate's Financial and Economic Affairs Committee's report on the 2022/23 socio-economic development plan would be referred to the House of Representatives.

The Senate is scheduled Monday to discuss a bill aimed at amending the law on regulating the fund for supporting disabled citizens (Law 200/2020). The bill was drafted and submitted by the parliamentary majority party of Mostaqbal Watan (“The Nation's Future”).

Article one of the law states that its name will be changed to be "The Law on the Fund for Supporting the Capable Citizens with a Difference." The fund will be affiliated with the presidency and located in Cairo, though branches can be opened in all governorates.

Article four states that the fund will be run by a board of directors to be tasked with drafting its internal bylaws and its technical, administrative and financial regulations. The board will have complete free powers to achieve the fund's objectives in an economic and sustainable way.

Article seven states that the fund's money will be used to build hospitals and health units for disabled citizens. "It will be also used to rehabilitate disabled citizens in order to be integrated into society in terms of organising professional training programmes," said the article, adding that "the fund will also help disabled citizens set up small-scale and medium-scale productive projects with good economic returns."

The fund will also help disabled citizens participate in sporting, cultural and social activities, and provide support for those who show talent. "The fund will also spend on programmes, forums and conferences aiming to spread social awareness of the rights and requirements of disabled citizens, and creating job opportunities for them," says article seven.

The Senate is also expected to discuss a number of proposals submitted by members on a variety of issues. Topping the list a proposal submitted by senator Amr El-Said Fahmy on the problem standing in the way of the Ministry of Education officially appointing 36,000 teachers.

"These teachers were contracted by the Ministry of Education between the first of April and 31 May 2019," said Fahmy, adding that "the Ministry of Education has promised several times that these teachers would be officially appointed, but it has never lived up to its promise."

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