Egyptian pensioners' five bonuses cost treasury EGP 35 billion: Finance minister

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 23 Mar 2020

Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait (Al-Ahram)

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said that according to the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the treasury will shoulder the cost of the five bonuses that will be paid to pensioners, worth EGP 35 billion for the current year and EGP 7 billion annually over the coming years.

In a statement, Maait said that flexible wage pensions will be resettled, adding 80 percent from the special bonuses which are not included in the basic wage for pensioners whose service ended between 1 July 2006 and 30 June 2016.

The minister added that the state wants to improve pensioners' living standards and that it is keen on solving the accumulated problems of the pensions system.

“By the end of March, the ministry will have paid EGP 120.4 billion for pension funds from a total of EGP 160.5 billion for the current fiscal year," according to Maait.

He said the percentage of the disentangle instalment, that is transferred from the state treasury to pension funds, will be raised to 5.9 percent, up from 5.7 percent, to contain the new procedures and to meet pensioners' financial obligations.

Maait said that increments and additional bonuses for state employees cost in FY 2020/2021 EGP 31 billion, while new decreases of earned income tax cost EGP 4 billion.

The minister pointed out that the president’s decree of extending the stoppage of agriculture lands law for two years came in line with the leadership seeking to enhance social protection pillars and to alleviate negative impacts of COVID-19 on citizens. 

He added that EGP 100 billion are allocated for March and April to pay arrears for exporters affiliated to the investment initiative the government announced in October 2019.

“In light of the initiative, settlement agreements have been inked with 77 export enterprises and 10 percent of exported entitlements have been disbursed for the third time during 2020 to stimulate investment and boost national manufacturing to increase production, expand exports, boost sustainable growth and enhance the structure of the national economy to achieve better living standards and better services quality," Maait said.

He added that the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) has implemented the presidential directives of abolishing the administrative sizings imposed on taxpayers who are in arrears in exchange for them paying 10 percent from their tax arrears.

The ETA also resettled their tax files through dispute resolution committees to give them another chance to settle their disputes with the tax administration without resorting to courthouses, to enhance taxpayers' confidence, attract more investments, and generate more jobs.

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