'Egypt was able to contain negative shock of COVID-19': Ministers tell MPs

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 25 Apr 2021

Egypt's ministers of finance and planning also indicated that Egypt's economic reform programme helped the country face the COVID-19 pandemic

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait at the House of Representatives on 25 April, 2021

Egypt's ministers of finance and planning presented the country's new 2021/22 budget and development plan before parliament on Sunday.

Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said said Egypt's economy has shown great resilience in the face of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"International financial institutions and credit rating agencies have also confirmed that Egypt has even come on top of Middle East and North Africa countries in terms of economic growth and financial stability," said El-Said, indicating Egypt's 2016-2019 economic reform programme played a big role in this respect.

She said Egypt's GDP is projected to reach EGP 7.1 trillion in 2021/22, up by 11.7 per cent and from EGP 6.4 trillion in the current 2020/21 year.

In her review of the 2021/22's development plan, El-Said said the government targets economic growth of 5.4 per cent in FY 2021/22, up from a projected 2.8 per cent in 2.8 per cent in 2020/21.

She indicated that "in the new development plan, we are targeting LE1.25 trillion in overall investments."

"Out of this sum, we will allocate EGP 47.5 billion to the health sector and EGP 56 billion to the education sector," said El-Said, indicating that "the focus on these two sectors reflects the state's interest in improving healthcare and education services in the coming stage."

El-Said explained that EGP 176 billion in investments will also go to the sectors of housing, water and sanitary draining services.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said the new 2021/22 budget aims to slash public debt to 89.5 per cent of GDP and cut budget deficit to 6.7 per cent of GDP.

"This is part of our policies focused on maintaining financial stability, achieving fiscal discipline and containing the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy," said Maait.

Maait said that while the new budget targets revenues of EGP 1.365 trillion, expenditure is projected to reach EGP 1.837 trillion.

"The new budget will allocate EGP 321.3 billion in subsidies, grants and social privileges," he added.

Maait said he expects that tax revenues will increase by 18.3 per cent, largely due to the improved performance of the Egyptian economy.

"The tax revenues will grow from EGP 964.7 billion in 2020/21 to EGP 983.1 in 2021/22, and as for non-tax revenues, it is projected that we collect EGP 380 billion in the new 2021/22," he pointed out.

Parliament speaker Hanafy El-Gebaly said the two statements delivered by the ministers of finance and planning on the new budget and development plan will be referred to the House's committees to be discussed in detail.

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