Egypt caught between two fires due to Ukraine war: MPs

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 9 May 2022

The draft budget of 2022/23 needs further review and amendments, declared members of the parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee on Monday after concluding the initial reading.

File photo: Egypt s House of Representatives


Ahmed Samir, head of the committee, said the war in Ukraine has caught Egypt's government between two fires. "It has to decrease the budget deficit, and at the same time allocate more cash subsidies to the poor and limited-income classes," he said. 

Samir, who was addressing MPs in the presence of Finance Minister Mohamed Maait during a preliminary discussion of the FY 2022/23 budget in the economic committee on Monday afternoon, said "MPs know that there are global inflationary pressures, a dramatic spike in prices of basic food commodities, a disruption in food supply chains, foreign exchange fluctuations, and other problems due to the war in Ukraine. But, we want to assure poor citizens that subsidies will remain in the budget," said Samir. 

"The government should rationalize spending on reception ceremonies and luxurious events and direct its money to subsidies."

Maait responded by saying that "the Egyptian economy has shown resilience and we were able to achieve higher growth rates and bring the budget deficit under control." 

He revealed that subsidies to ration cards, wheat, and bread in the new 2022/23 budget hit a record high of EGP87 billion, covering 72 million citizens. 

"Besides, we allocated EGP 90 billion to the Supply Commodities Organisation to help it meet the country's needs of wheat imports," said Maait, revealing that "Egypt has so far imported five million tons of wheat this year."

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