Sisi urges launch of new mortgage program for low, middle-income Egyptians

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Mar 2021

Governor of the CBE said that 320,000 farmers have had their debts written off, adding that these debts totaled around EGP 660 million

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during a meeting with Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer and his deputies on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi urged the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Sunday to formulate and launch a new mortgage program for low- and middle-income citizens so that they can get housing units at a low interest rate.

Meeting with Governor of the CBE Tarek Amer and his deputies, El-Sisi urged that the new mortgage program secure loans that are paid off over the course of up to 30 years and with a simplified and low interest rate that does not exceed 3 percent, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

The meeting also reviewed the CBE’s recent efforts, especially in light of the pandemic.

Amer affirmed that the current situation of the foreign exchange reserves is considered firm and safe and caused the country to maintain stable exchange rates and achieve liquidation of foreign currency, the statement read.

Amer explained that this situation significantly helped the country overcome the economic implications of the coronavirus throughout the last year.

El-Sisi hailed the CBE’s performance, which has been in harmony with other governmental institutions and in line with the state’s general economic orientation.

The meeting reviewed the outcome of a presidential initiative launched in 2015 to finance medium, small, and micro enterprises.

According to the statement, the initiative has had a funding of around EGP 234 billion. It has benefited 1,260,000 commercial and industrial establishments and has secured 2 million job opportunities.

El-Sisi, during the meeting, urged the increase of funding for the initiative by another EGP 117 billion during the current and coming years.

Amer reviewed with the president the CBE’s efforts in developing and restructuring the Agricultural Bank of Egypt.

Amer noted that 320,000 farmers have had their debts written off, adding that these debts totaled around EGP 660 million.

The CBE also secured EGP 4.5 billion for backing small agricultural projects, developing irrigation methods, and contributing to the advanced dairy collection centres project at low interest rates.

The CBE also secured EGP 2.5 billion to develop animal resource projects that included thousands of animals. It also secured EGP 3 billion for the national veal project.

El-Sisi urged the continuation of efforts to develop the Agricultural Bank of Egypt for its vital importance in advancing the agricultural sector nationwide.

The president was also briefed on the CBE’s efforts to apply financial inclusion. The statement said 50 percent of the process has been applied nationwide.

El-Sisi urged developing the vital project known as Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) for women and maximising its financial resources to increase the number of its female beneficiaries, the statement read.

The new project targets hundreds of thousands of women in the governorates of Minya, Beni Sueif, Assiut, and Sohag, and aims to expand the scale, sustainability, and impact of VSLAs through leveraging the technology of different e-payment methods, thereby enhancing women’s access to financial services.

It is co-led by the National Council for Women and the CBE.

The meeting also touched on efforts to develop the electronic government collection system in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance.

Money collected through this method amounted to about EGP 550 billion throughout FY2019/2020, the statement added.

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