Egypt parliament approves new budget and development plan

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 5 Jun 2018

Parliament also approved five important laws

Egyptian parliament
File photo: Egyptian parliament (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's House of Representatives approved on Tuesday the country's new budget for fiscal year 2018/19 and its socio-economic development plan.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said the approval came after the House passed a vote requiring the government to increase basic salaries for state employees and civil servants.

In general, pensions and basic salaries for state employees will be increased by 15 per cent.

State employee salaries will receive an additional allocation of EGP 4 billion. "This amount will be used to fund a bonus of EGP 40 for each employee," said Abdel-Aal, "adding that this bonus is the least we can do to help limited income classes."

Egypt's new state budget targets EGP 989.2 in revenues, and 1.42 trillion in expenditure in FY2018/19. Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy said that "while we would like to see 18 per cent growth in expenditures, we are aiming for a rise of 18.5 per cent in revenues to help bridge the budget deficit and cut general debts.

Parliament also approved the first year (2018/19) of the country's five year socio-economic development plan (2017-2022).

The plan aims to raise national economic growth from 5.8 to 8 per cent by 2022.

It also aims to boost the contribution of investments from 16.9 per cent of GDP in 2017 to 25.6 per cent in 2018. The plan targets a increase in foreign direct investment from $7.9 billion to $11 billion.

"It also aims to reduce the trade deficit from 13.7 per cent in 2017 to 11.6 per cent in 2018, and increase foreign exchange reserves from $42.5 billion in 2017 to more than $50 billion in 2018," said the budget committee report.

Parliament also approved a budget of EGP 1.3 billion for the House of Representatives in FY2018/19. Abdel-Aal said 70 per cent of this budget will go to paying the salaries of the House staff.

Parliament also finally approved five laws regulating cyber crime, setting up the upper Egypt development authority, imposing state development fees, and amending the income tax.

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