Central Bank has not filed official request for IMF loan: CBE Governor

Bassem Abo Alabass , Monday 27 Jun 2016

Tarek Amer, the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (File phoo: Reuters)

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has not filed an official request for a loan program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said the bank’s governor Tarek Amer on Monday.

“The CBE governor is the country's governor at the IMF, and we [the bank] do have regular discussions with the fund and exchange views on ongoing basis,” Amer told Ahram Online in a text message.

Reuters reported earlier on Monday - citing one of Egypt’s economic group ministers - that there are ongoing negotiations led by the CBE to acquire over five billion dollars in loans from the IMF.

“The figures quoted are incorrect. In case a program is sought, Egypt would be eligible for more than double the stated amount by virtue of its shareholding in the fund,” Amer said.

Amer, who denied in March that Egypt is seeking loan from the IMF, said that the government is attempting to address economic challenges and is setting its own structural reform program which includes new budget targets that are currently discussed before the parliament, and the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Egypt will slash its total subsidy bill in the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget by 14 percent compared to the current fiscal year according to the latest data from the finance ministry.

The VAT, which is awaiting parliamentary approval, will be replacing sales tax and is planned to be set at a flat rate of 10 percent. Once implemented, the tax is expected to raise tax revenues by around EGP 30 billion.

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