House committees begin discussing new FY 2022/23 budget this week

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 14 May 2022

Egyptian parliament's 25 committees will hold a series of hearing sessions this week to discuss the country's new FY 2022/23 budget and socio-economic development plan.

Egypt s parliamentary


The discussion comes after Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait and Minister of Planning and Development Hala El-Said delivered two official statements on the budget and the plan before the House of Representatives on 9 May.

MP Yasser Omar, deputy chairman of the Budget Committee, said the committee would begin the discussion this week by holding question and answer meetings with the finance and planning ministers. "As indicated by these two ministers on 9 May, the 2022/23 budget was restructured after the breakout of the Russia-Ukraine war on 24 February to prioritise spending on subsidies and social protection programmes," said Omar, indicating that "in this respect, we will discuss how the budget translates this priority in figures and action on the ground."

According to Omar, the 2022/23 budget is Egypt’s most difficult in 20 years. "It comes amid a wave of unprecedented global inflationary pressures that have made it quite difficult to prepare a budget in a short time and with fixed figures and targets," said Omar.

Omar indicated that despite the pressures, the finance and planning ministers delivered optimistic statements, insisting that the Egyptian economy proved resilient in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and that it can absorb the shock of the Russia-Ukraine war.

MP Mostafa Salem, the other deputy chairman of the Budget Committee, also indicated that the Budget Committee will begin holding meetings next Monday. "We will be in a state of emergency to discuss the budget and prepare our report on it in order to be discussed and voted in parliament before 30 June, the date which signals the beginning of the new fiscal year," said Salem.

MP Abdel-Moneim Imam, secretary-general of the Budget Committee, clarified that "the House's 25 committees will all begin debating the new FY 2022/23 budget and socio-economic development plan at the same time. But while the Budget Committee will focus on the main objectives and figures cited by the two documents on the budget and the plan, the other committees will look at the budgets of cabinet ministries and economic institutions in detail," said Imam, adding that “the debate will continue for one month, after which a general comprehensive report on the new FY 2022/23 budget and the plan is submitted to the House to be discussed and voted in plenary sessions.”

Imam revealed that MPs have a lot of questions for the finance and planning ministers on loans and grants and how efficiently they are used by the government. On 9 May, the House voted in favor of approving of a legislative amendment allocating an additional EGP six billion to the current FY 2021/22 budget to cover the increased costs of servicing public debts and interest hikes.

Imam indicated that MPs also want to make sure that subsidies and social protection programmes will actually go to the needy and poor classes and that salaries are adequately increased to help average-income classes weather the crisis," said Imam.

Preliminary figures show that allocations to subsidy and social protection programmes will be increased by 11 percent, reaching EGP 356 billion in the new 2022-23 budget, up from EGP 321.2 billion in the current 2021/22.

According to the draft 2022-23 budget report, “fuel subsidies will be increased from EGP 18.4 billion to EGP 28.9 billion, while food subsidies, which cover bread and basic food commodities for 71 million citizens holding ration cards, will climb from EGP 87.2 billion to EGP 90 billion.”

Funding for social protection programmes, which include social insurance and the Takaful and Karama initiatives, will be increased by EGP three billion to EGP 22 billion and cover four million families.

Budgetary allocations for public sector salaries will increase by EGP 43 billion to reach EGP 400 billion to improve the financial position of 4.5 million state employees.

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