President Abdel Fattah El Sisi - File photo President Abdel Fattah El Sisi - File photo

Sisi calls for budget deficit up, social protection allocations down

Tue, Aug. 8, 2017
CAIRO_ 8 August 2017: President Abdel Fatah al Sisi asserted the necessity of maintaining efforts to cut the budget deficit and debt rates in the new budget for the fiscal year 2017/2018.

Also, Sisi called for rationalizing spending, increasing growth rates and raising social protection allocations through supporting food commodities and expanding in direct cash support programs, particularly the Takaful and Karama social safety program, and health care programs for the needy people.

He made the remarks during a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Finance Minister Amr el Garhy and Deputy Finance Minister for Financial Policies Ahmed Kojak, Presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Garhy reviewed a report on the initial estimates of financial performance for the fiscal year 2016/2017, Youssef added.

The finance minister’s report showed that Egypt’s total budget deficit hit 10.9% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 12.5% in the previous fiscal year, Youssef noted.

The primary budget deficit for the fiscal year 2016/2017 reached 1.8% worth EGP 63 billion against 3.5% worth EGP 96 billion in the past fiscal year, the report said.

The annual revenue growth rate stood at 28% of the GDP, which surpassed the annual expenditure growth rate that amounted to 22% of the GDP, the report added.

Furthermore, the finance minister asserted that the fiscal year 2016/2017 witnessed an increase in the foreign investment rates and an improvement in the trade balance in general, especially with regard to non-petroleum products.

Moreover, the fiscal year 2016/2017 saw a surge in production rates and the demand for goods produced by private sector companies reached unprecedented levels, he said. Also, exports reflected a remarkable improvement in the country’s economy, the report read.

The fiscal year 2016/2017 witnessed a rise in the foreign investment in Egyptian treasury bills and bonds worth USD 13 billion till the end of June, versus USD one billion at the beginning of the year, the report underlined.
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