Morsi vs Shafiq: Where they stand economically

Reuters, Friday 25 May 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood's nominee will likely face off against Mubarak's ex-prime minister for the presidency. But what does this mean for Egypt's economy?

Ahmed Shafiq, Mohammed Morsi
Ahmed Shafiq, Mohamed Morsi (Photo: Ahram file)

The Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday the group's candidate Mohamed Morsi would enter a presidential run-off vote next month with Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Official results from the first round are not due to be announced until next week but representatives of the candidates are allowed to watch the count enabling them to compile their own tally.
Here are details about their economic programmes:
The Muslim Brotherhood candidate says he would galvanise the private sector to generate growth and jobs, and limit the state's role to basic services, especially education, security, housing, economic infrastructure and health. He would also:
* Boost GDP growth to an annual 7 per cent over the four-year presidency, cut inflation to less than 3.5 per cent from 8.8 per cent, lower unemployment to under 7 per cent from nearly 13 per cent.
* Lower domestic and foreign debt by 15 per cent a year, plug the gap in the balance of payments by 2016/17, cut the budget deficit to less than 6 per cent of GDP.
* Have a more independent central bank focusing on price stability and a pound valued on a trade-weighted basis.
* Promote private infrastructure projects - highways, bridges, railways and energy - costing up to $5 billion each and a LE45 billion $7.45 billion) expansion of agriculture.
* Cancel small farmer debts and double the number of Egyptians eligible for social security to 3 million.
* Promote Islamic finance and add Islamic sukuk alongside government bonds. Set up a civil organisation for zika, Islamic tax, to protect the poor. It is not clear if this would be voluntary.
Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister wants a state/private sector partnership, higher foreign investment and a budget deficit of less than 6 percent of GDP by the end of his term.
He would keep the Egyptian pound's exchange rate stable and:
* End energy subsidies to industry, continue to subsidise bread, cooking gas and gasoline for "deserving people", review gas export prices.
* Boost investment in labour-intensive industries, give Arab investors special incentives and provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises.
* Develop renewable and nuclear energy, create new residential and industrial cities and water desalination plants.
* Set a minimum wage, help the unemployed and give a pension to every citizen who needs one, double the health budget, extend health insurance to all parts of society, regardless of cost.
* Assure a "fair price" for farm products bought by the state and cancel debts of small farmers.
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