Egypt's new stimulus package focuses on roads, sanitation: Finance minister

Ahram Online, Sunday 27 Oct 2013

Larger than planned investment will focus on upgrading Egypt's railway, roads and sanitation facilities, Ahmed Galal tells political parties

Finance minister
Finance minister Ahmed Galal (Photo: AO)

Egypt's new economic stimulus package will include billions of pounds in infrastructure and sanitation investments, according to a breakdown released by Finance Minister Ahmed Galal in a meeting with economists from Egyptian political parties.

Last Monday, Galal announced a stimulus package worth LE29.6 billion ($4.3 billion), a third more than the initial LE22.3 billion allocated to revive the country's ailing economy.

The government is still aiming to reduce the budget deficit to 10 percent in the current fiscal year, from 14 percent in FY2012/2013, the minister confirmed.

Talks are in progress to settle arrears owed to international oil companies, Galal added, with a new payment to be made before the end of the year.

As part of the stimulus, LE2.5 million will be allocated to renovating roads and bridges, LE1.6 billion to paving roads nationwide, and LE557 million to complete 15 roads under the supervision of Egypt's Central Agency for Reconstruction.

In addition, LE523 million will go towards the reclamation of agricultural land, LE2.2 billion for a national drinking water and sanitation project, LE882 million towards environmental projects, and LE456 million to reinforce power grids.

The government has also allocated LE50 million for the development of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

LE590 million will be used to fund the programme exempting school and university students of tuition fees, while LE1.5 billion will extend natural gas to some 800,000 housing units during this fiscal year. LE2.7 billion will be allocated to upgrade railway crossings.

LE273 million will fund the completion of the second phase of a third metro line in Cairo, and the government will disburse LE655 million for the purchase of 600 new buses.

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