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Egypt targets budget deficit of 8.5-8.7% in 2018/19: Min.

Wed, Mar. 7, 2018
CAIRO – 7 March 2018: Egypt aims at reducing the budget deficit to 8.5 - 8.7 percent in the upcoming budget of fiscal year 2018/2019, Minister of Finance Amr el-Garhy said at the Conference of boosting the mobilization of Egypt’s domestic resources.

Garhy added during his speech that the budget deficit is estimated to record 9.6 - 9.8 percent during the current fiscal year.

Garhy stated Monday that the government aims to reduce the public debt to 97 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the budget of fiscal year 2018/2019.

The minister added that they target to achieve a taxation of LE 611 billion in the upcoming budget.

Beltone Financial expected in February that the budget deficit will decrease to 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) which will require the accumulation of foreign debt due to the stability of local currency deposits at 35 percent in the fiscal year 2016/2017.

Egypt’s budget deficit increased 7 percent in the first half of fiscal year 2017/2018, to record LE 187.3 billion, compared to LE 174.6 billion in the same period of 2016/2017.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 370 billion, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Minister of Finance Garhy announced earlier that the trade deficit improved by 20 percent as a result of the current revenues’ decline to $55 billion from $70 billion.

The minister stated Monday that taxes represent 72 percent of the estimated budget of fiscal year 2017/2018.

"We seek to simplify the tax system, implement a policy to protect taxes and promote growth,” the minister added.

He clarified that the reform agenda included the value-added taxes (VAT) and the increase of taxes on alcohol.

He noted that the development process also requires improvement of policies and developing individuals' skills, revealing that the rules of pricing modifications will be issued in 2018.

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