Egypt 2017/18 budget to include EGP 75 bln for social safety package

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Jun 2017

Minister Amr El-Garhy
File Photo: Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy at a news conference in Cairo, Egypt August 11, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's 2017/18 budget starting July is set to include a social safety package of EGP 75 billion in light of the president's orders on Tuesday for the implementation of several measures to ease economic burdens on citizens.

Finance minister Amr El-Garhy said in a statement that the measures would bring the state's budget to EGP 1.2 trillion.

El-Garhy stressed that the government will still work to keep to the targeted budget deficit of 9.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), even with the newly announced social safety packages.

The statement by the finance ministry comes one day after El-Sisi ordered measures including the more than doubling of rations from monthly food subsidy cards – up from EGP 21 to EGP 50 per person. The increase is a 140 percent bump in the state budget for the subsidy cards, up from EGP 45 billion to EGP 85 billion.

El-Sisi also ordered an increase in state pension payments as well as a raise in basic salaries for public sector employees.

The president’s orders come in line with earlier promises to ease austerity measures on low income citizens.

Egypt started a fiscal reform programme in July 2014 in an attempt to curb a growing state budget deficit by cutting subsidies, introducing new taxes, and liberalising the Egyptian pound in an attempt to secure a $12 billion three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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