A street vendor sells bread at a street corner in central Cairo April 11, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's budget deficit for the coming 2013/14 fiscal year (beginning 1 July 2013) is forecast to reach LE197.5 billion according to a draft budget referred to Egypt's Shura Council earlier this month, Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website – which has obtained a summary of the draft – reported on Monday.
The 2013/14 budget deficit is around 7 percent higher than the revised figure for the current 2012/13 fiscal year, which is forecast to reach LE185 billion by 30 June. The 2013/14 budget deficit is expected to amount to 9.5 percent of Egypt's gross domestic product (GDP), down from 10.7 percent in the current fiscal year.
The finance minister is expected to present the new budget to the Shura council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament, currently endowed with legislative powers) next week.
Total expenses are expected to rise in next year's budget by a whopping 19 percent to LE692 billion, up from LE584 million in the current revised budget.
Debt servicing will see the largest hike, driven by government borrowing, growing 31 percent to LE182 billion. Debt servicing grew from 24 percent of total expenditures in the revised 2012/13 budget to 26 percent in the proposed 2013/14 budget.
The subsidies bill, which will account for a full 30 percent of total public expenses in 2013/14, will grow by 12 percent on the previous year to reach LE205.5 billion.
Wages and benefits of public-sector workers, meanwhile, are expected to grow by 21 percent in the new budget to LE172 billion, accounting for 25 percent of total expenditures – up from 24 percent in the current budget.
Total state revenues are expected to grow by 26 percent to reach LE497 billion in the new budget, due mainly to an expected 34 percent increase in tax revenues worth some LE90 billion.