Egypt's budget deficit hits $10.8 bn in Jul-Oct 2013: Report

Bassem Abo Alabass, Monday 9 Dec 2013

Deficit up from same period of last year, but expected to be 5 percent less by the end of fiscal year 2013/14

Ahmed Galal
Interim Finance Minister, Ahmed Galal (Photo: Ahram)

Egypt’s budget deficit registered LE74.5 billion ($10.8 billion) in the first four months of the current fiscal year 2013/14, representing 3.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Finance Ministry’s latest monthly statistical report.

The government recorded a budget deficit worth some LE69.6 billion ($10.1 billion) during the same period of the last fiscal year 2012/13.

The report added that the total budget deficit for the fiscal year 2013/14 is expected to reach some LE186 billion ($27 billion), the equivalent of 9 percent of the GDP, compared to 14 percent -- LE240 billion ($34.8 billion) -- in the fiscal year 2012/13.

According to the ministerial report, the state saw revenues worth some LE82 billion ($12 billion) against LE154.8 billion ($22.4 billion) in expenses within the period July to October 2013.

The total public expenses planned by the government in the fiscal year 2013/14 stand at LE689.3 billion ($100 billion), excluding the economic stimulus package worth LE29.7 billion ($4.3 billion), which was recently announced by the state’s transitional administration.

On the other hand, total public revenues are expected to reach some LE505.4 billion ($73.4 billion) in the current fiscal year that ends June 2014.

Regarding governmental subsidies, the report has pointed out that food subsidies in the period between July-October 2013 amounted to LE6.3 billion ($0.91 billion), compared with LE5.2 billion ($0.76 billion) in the corresponding months of last year.

The report did not list the amount the government spent on energy and petroleum subsidies in the first four months of the current fiscal year, although it did highlight that the amount paid in the same period of the last fiscal year was LE12.3 billion ($1.8 billion).

Yasser Sobhi, head of fiscal macroeconomic policies at the ministry of finance told Ahram Online that before the energy and petroleum subsidies can be determined, the ministries of finance and petroleum must first settle their "tangled finances."

Sobhi went on to elaborate that the figure would be the conclusion of the spent subsidy amount, the public revenues of the petroleum ministry and Arab Gulf petroleum aid since July.

He estimated that energy subsidies would be worth around LE30 billion ($4.3 billion) during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2013/14.

In November, Egypt’s Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said that the government would start cutting fuel subsidies before it leaves office next year. 


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