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.