Minister of Finance Mohammed Maait (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said during a press conference in Cairo on Tuesday that the Egyptian economy would achieve a 5.6 percent growth rate by the end of current fiscal year (2018/19).
Maait announced that a delegation from the International Monetary Fund is currently visiting Egypt to review the country's fiscal performance, growth indicators and balance of payments, before disbursing the final tranche of a loan to the country.
The minister said that the government is seeking to reduce inflation to less than 10 percent during fiscal year 2019/20, and to a range of 6 to 7 percent during 2020/21.
Maait also revealed that the government has managed to achieve a primary surplus of EGP 35.5 billion during the first nine months of 2018/19, which has resulted in an increase in revenues to EGP 598 billion from July 2018 to March 2019, compared to EGP 498 billion in the same period last fiscal year.
Maait added that the total deficit reached 5.3 percent in those first nine months compared to 6.2 percent in the same period last year.
Deputy Finance Minister for Financial Policies Ahmed Kouchouk said during the same press conference that the country's reform programme aims to keep government debt bellow EGP 400 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, and that the ministry has managed to maintain it at EGP 394 billion.
Kouchouk pointed out that the total public expenditure on wages and compensation of workers amounted to EGP 196.1 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, an increase of EGP 24.4 billion, compared to EGP 171.7 billion in the same period last fiscal year, a growth of 14 percent.
Kouchouk also said that foreign investments in Egypt's debt portfolio reached $16.8 billion in the third week of April.