Amr el-Garhy - File photo
CAIRO - 29 May 2017: The Egyptian cabinet approved a new social solidarity package with a total value of LE 45 billion ($2.5 billion) in FY2017/18, Minister of Finance Amr el-Garhy said Monday.
Garhy said the allocations will be directed to an increase in the salaries of public employees by 14-20 percent, and the pensions and Karama and Takaful programs.
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali announced in a Monday press conference an annual increase of 15 percent in the social pensions, to be effective on July 1.
Wali explained that the increase will come at a minimum level of LE 65 and a maximum level of LE 130, and is yet to be issued by a law from the parliament.
“The pensions’ increase is an exceptional measure to meet the price inflation,” Wali said, adding that it will burden the state budget with LE 20 billion.
The annual pension increase comes effective at the beginning of July of every year, which marks the start of the fiscal year, at a rate of 10 percent, paid to 9 million beneficiaries.
Wali added another LE 100 increase for each of the 9.5 million beneficiaries of Takaful and Karama programs was also approved by the cabinet, costing the government additional allocations of LE 2 billion.
Last month, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi directed to expand the social protection programs to ease the burden on low-income citizens, in response to price hikes after the flotation of the Egyptian pound in November.
Budget allocations dedicated to Takaful and Karama programs and social solidarity pensions are set to surge 50 percent in the FY2017/18 to LE 15 billion ($828.7 million), compared to LE 10 billion in the previous fiscal year, according the Ministry of Finance.