Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the Decent Life event in Beni Suef governorate.
El-Sisi raised the exceptional cost of living allowance to EGP 600, up from EGP 300, for all employees within the state administrative apparatus, economic entities, state-owned enterprises, and the public sector.
The president also raised the annual income tax exemption threshold by 25 percent from EGP 36,000 to EGP 45,000 for all state employees.
El-Sisi announced the new measures while inaugurating via video conference several development projects in the Beni Suef governorate as part of the Decent Life initiative.
In addition, he raised Takaful and Karama benefits for its five million households by 15 percent and doubled the exceptional grant for 11 million pensioners and beneficiaries to EGP 600 from EGP 300.
The minimum wage for government employees was last raised in March 2023 from EGP 3,000 to EGP 3,500.
The president also directed an increase in technology allowances for journalists registered with the syndicate, in accordance with the provisions in the general budget.
He directed the Egyptian Agricultural Bank to ease the burden on small farmers and individuals who were unable to pay interest on their loans prior to 1 January 2022.
The president also announced that those who acquired land from the General Authority for Urban and Rural Development Projects and have been unable to pay interest and late penalty payments would be exempted from doing so, with a deadline by the end of 2024.
Remembering Daniel victims
El-Sisi presented his condolences to the families of Storm Daniel’s victims from the governorate.
He asked the citizens attending the event to observe a minute of silence in memory of storm victims in Libya.
At least 250 Egyptian migrants died in Derna alone due to Storm Daniel, according to estimates from the International Organization of Migration (IOM).
On Tuesday, Libyan authorities handed Egypt over 185 dead bodies of Egyptians found across eastern Libya.
On Wednesday, 75 of the deceased, mostly from El-Sherif village, were buried during a mass funeral in Beni Suef.
Work is still underway to determine the total number of Egyptian victims, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The president said supply chain disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current shortage in dollars have raised the cost of food imports.
He said the government is directing large sums of dollars to import millions of wheat in order to ensure that citizens can find enough bread.
The president noted that he is aware of the circumstances faced by the people, expressing his appreciation to the citizens for bearing such difficulties.
"But we are leaving no stone unturned to solve problems," he stressed.
The state is racing to reclaim five million new feddans in the coming two to three years to produce necessary crops in a very short period, noted the president.
These projects, which will create new jobs and produce more food, aim to lower our dependence on imports.
Impact of Dollar Crisis
The state is spending billions of dollars more to import oil needed to produce electricity amid rising global prices, El-Sisi noted.
"Every dollar increase in the price of an oil barrel has an enormous annual cost on us tantamount to billions of dollars," he noted.
The country's electrical power plants can produce more than enough electricity but the price of a barrel of diesel needed to operate them jumped from $65-$70 to $90, added the president.
He concluded that the country faces no shortages in gas or diesel needed for vehicles despite these challenges.