Egyptian finance ministers plan to address parliament this week on 2022/23 budget – Politics – Egypt
On Monday, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait and Planning and Economic Development Minister Hala El-Said are due to make two statements on the 2022/23 budget and the country’s socio-economic development plan.
According to the Egyptian Constitution of 2014, the new budget must be submitted to the House before the end of March each year. The House voted in plenary on April 17 to send the 2022/23 draft budget and development plan to the budget committee for discussion during hearing sessions.
Yasser Omar – deputy chairman of the House Budget Committee – said the committee would hold a series of hearings to consider the new budget and statements to be delivered Monday by Maait and El-Said.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly revealed in late March that the government would submit a revised budget to parliament.
“The 2022/23 budget has been revised to prioritize social protection programs targeting the poor and limited-income classes,” Madbouly said, adding that “in Egypt, as elsewhere, rising commodity prices base and oil following the war in Ukraine forced the government to rethink its fiscal policy and revise the budget to meet the new challenge.
According to the Ministry of Finance report, the draft budget for the 2022/23 financial year has been restructured to increase allocations to social programs and subsidies. “This increase is intended to protect the poor and low-income classes from the negative economic impact of the war in Ukraine,” the report said.
Preliminary figures show that budgetary allocations for grants, subsidies and social protection programs will increase from EGP 321.3 billion in the current 2021/22 budget to around EGP 356 billion in the new 2022/23 budget.
The report says the new budget subsidies will mainly go to fuels, basic commodities, exports, farmers, Upper Egypt development, health insurance and low-cost housing.
According to the draft budget report 2022/23, “Fuel subsidies are in the lead, as they will increase from EGP 18.4 billion to EGP 28.9 billion.” As for subsidies for basic necessities, they will increase from EGP 87.2 billion to EGP 90 billion.
As for budgetary allocations for grants, the report indicates that they will increase from EGP 9.9 billion to EGP 35.6 billion.
“Subsidies, like subsidies, will also be intended to strengthen the social safety net and protect the poor and income-limited classes from any expected high rate of inflation,” Omar said.
The draft budget for the financial year 2022/23 also indicates that allocations to social protection programs will reach EGP 159.7 billion, with the bulk of this amount representing state contributions to pension and social security funds. social assurance.
“This includes the Takaful and Karama pension fund, which will be increased by EGP 3 billion to cover an additional 500,000 poor families,” the report said.
Maait further explained that while the budget aims to support the most vulnerable and promote fiscal discipline, it will also act to stimulate productive investment, safeguard economic stability and “support private sector-led national growth.”
For his part, El-Said said that before the war in Ukraine, the government expected economic growth to reach 6.2% in the 2022/23 financial year, but lowered the assessment to 5.5% in the revised 2022/23 budget. Public investment was also reduced from 16.2% to 15.2%.
Additionally, Maait told the cabinet in the last week of March that over the medium term, the revised budget targets economic growth of 5.5%, a reduced budget deficit to 6.1% of GDP and a reduction in public debt. to 80.5% of GDP in 2022/23.
El-Said also said the finance and planning ministries would continue to work to contain inflation caused by the war in Ukraine and develop policies flexible enough to absorb any shock.
“I think the main interest of MPs will be to determine how the new budget will protect the poor and how it will enforce fiscal discipline,” Omar said.
“MPs will also want to see details of increased spending on the Takaful and Karama social protection schemes, details of continued spending on bread subsidies, and how authorities will respond to unscrupulous traders seeking to exploit the crisis to increase their own profits,” he added.
The House program on Sunday will focus on the discussion of two reports, the first of which concerns a government-drafted law regulating the El-Zahraa station for the breeding of genuine Arabian horses.
The second report concerns a loan agreement between Egypt and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the establishment of a sustainable agricultural development project in Upper Egypt.
In addition to listening to Maait and El-Said’s statements on the 2022/23 budget and development plan on Monday, the Chamber will also consider two foreign agreements, the first of which aims to increase Egypt’s financial contribution to paid-in capital from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The second is related to technical cooperation between the French Development Agency and the government for the establishment of a comprehensive health insurance system in Egypt.
The House session on Tuesday will cover a slew of questions and requests for information from MPs to Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy, including complaints about the spreading of rubbish and dumps in the streets, the failure of the government to pave streets in major towns and cities and the suspension of building permits.