Egypt interim govt seeks to amend Islamist 2013/14 budget

Ahram Online, Sunday 4 Aug 2013

Egypt's interim government is de facto working with the previous government's 2013/14 budget, but is currently seeking amendments to it

shura Council
File photo: Members of Shura Council (Photo: AP)

Egypt is currently working with 2013/14 state budget approved by the previous Islamist government, but it needs adjustments, says an official from the finance ministry.

The 2013/14 budget does not need to be approved by the current interim president, since it was ratified by the now-dissolved Shura Council (Upper house of parliament) a few days before the uprisings of 30 June that eventually ousted then-president Mohamed Morsi, the official, who preferred to remain anonymous, explained to Ahram Online.

Earlier in July experts had told Ahram Online that the government was expected to continue operating with the budget for the 2012/13 fiscal year, which had ended in June.

"Finance Minister Ahmed Galal had previously told reporters in a press conference that the revenues in the 2013/14 budget should be revised because it included sales taxes that were no't approved by the Shura Council at the time," explained the official.

The fallen Islamist government planned to raise sales taxes on six goods to generate some LE13 billion (roughly $1.8 billion).

"The wage increase announced by the previous government in April has been in effect since July," added the official.

Wages and benefits of public-sector workers were subject to a 21 percent hike in the 2013/14 budget, to total LE172 billion (roughly $24.6 billion).

Below are the latest figures in the 2013-14 budget approved by the Shura Council in the late June session with total expenses, according the state-owned Al-Ahram daily newspaper, expected to reach LE589.3 billion (roughly $98.5 billion).

Revenues in 2013-14 are forecasted at LE516 billion (roughly $73.3 billion) up from April's announced LE497 billion (roughly $71 billion) with a LE90 billion (roughly $12.8 billion) expected rise in tax revenues.

The 2013-14 budget deficit was expected to reach 9.5 percent of Egypt’s GDP, registering some LE197 billion (roughly $28 billion), but the Shura Council lowered the estimate to 8.9 percent of GDP.

Egypt’s total budget deficit reached LE205 billion (roughly $29.2 billion) — representing 11.8 percent of GDP — in the first 11 months of the 2012-13 fiscal year, the finance ministry reported in June. 

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