New unified law for the public budget ready for cabinet consideration: Finance minister

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 18 Aug 2019

The law will help bolster the values of transparency, rational assessment, and follow-up in implementation of directives and monitoring of public monies

File Photo: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait speaks during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt July 5, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maaet announced Sunday that a draft unified law for the public budget and government accounting has been completed and is ready for submission to the cabinet.

“The new draft law maintains Egypt tendency to an adopt an accrual basis instead of a cash basis in managing the state’s general budget. This draft law applies a programme performance approach to the budget, which helps to rationalise public expenditure and entrench the concepts of accounting and accountability. In addition, it helps to put budget outlines for good financial planning and to put a future vision for financial performance in the state’s administrative entities,” Maaet stated.
He added that there are two current laws that control Egypt’s financial performance: Law No 53 of 1973, regarding the general budget, and Law No 127 of 1981, which controls governmental accountability.

“These laws were modified in many forms, but they do not fit the changes and the upgrading that the general budget has experienced. Furthermore, these laws do not encompass several issues like budgeting outlines, financial planning, the programmes and performance budget system, while the new draft law does,” Maaet revealed.
He highlighted that the new law was drafted in the light of international experiences in drafting laws applicable to general budgets, taking into account the digital transformation that Egypt has recently adopted and current financial legislation.

The draft law aims to remain flexible while applying rigorous standards to budget assessment. Maaet also added that the new draft law adopts an electronic payment and collection system, electronic signature systems, and considers all electronic documents as legal.

He clarified that the finance ministry has a supervisory role regarding public monies, integrating with other oversight bodies.

Meanwhile, the ministry’s deputy of public treasury affairs, Ehab Abo Aish, said the new draft law targets rational management of public funds and achieving higher standards of transparency, preparations, implementation and monitoring.

“It contains 83 articles in six sections. It has been sent to all concerned bodies, to canvass their views, before submittion to the cabinet," he added.

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