Egypt's 2012/13 budget a 'conspiracy' against next president: FJP official

Ahram Online, Thursday 21 Jun 2012

Head of Islamist party's economic policy committee slams the military's likely adoption of the draft state budget, saying the country's next president is being handed a poisoned chalice

Ashraf Badr El-Din
Ashraf Badr El-Din, head of the Freedom and Justice Party's (FJP) economic policy committee (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A Freedom and Justice Party official has described the ruling military's imminent approval of the 2012/13 state budget as a "conspiracy" against Egypt's next president.

Last week's dissolution of parliament and the military's subsequent assumption of duties related to state finances are part of a plot "to make the next government fail," Ashraf Badr El-Din, a former MP and head of the FJP's economic policy committee, told Ahram Online.
The 2012/13 state budget, still under debate in parliament when the assembly was dissolved, is likely to be passed unchanged before 1 July by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) which took over legislative authorities.
Badr El-Din hit out at the move, saying that the next president -- which could be FJP chairman, Mohamed Morsi -- is being handed a poisoned chalice.
"This budget is exactly the same as every other Mubarak-era budget. The same failed policies will lead to the same results," he said of the 2012/13 draft which was prepared by El-Ganzoury's cabinet and presented to the parliament early June.
"We had planned to have an in-depth discussion of the budget and adjust it to fit revolutionary objectives, such as social justice," Badr El-Din added.
He believes that the draft budget is full of ambiguities and loopholes. 
"It contains extravagant state spending, and unexplained cuts in subsidies," he complained.
The proposed 2012/13 budget will ramp up state spending while rationalising fuel and food subsidies and boosting public wages and investment in infrastructure.
State spending will climb to LE533.7 billion ($88.3bn) in 2012/13. This is 8.8 per cent more than the LE490.6 billion spent by the state the year before.
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