Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy said that the ministry aims to achieve three main goals with the Egypt’s budget for fiscal year 2017/2018.
The main goals are raising the GDP by 5% to establish more revenue-generating resources in order to enhance the quality of life by raising citizen’s incomes, creating more jobs, and reducing the unemployment rate to 11%.
He added that the ministry changed the draft of the new budget after showing it to some parliament members before making it available for the public. The budget will provide funding for ministerial initiatives and programmes based on the ministry’s actual progress. All ministries were informed about this change, according to El-Garhy.
El-Garhy added that the government will keep implementing its structural reforms to support productivity in all sectors, especially industry, as well as focus on exporting and attract new investments in order to guarantee achieving its goals.
The minister said that the second target is to achieve sustainable stability through reducing the budget deficit to 9.5% compared to 12.2% during the previous year, and reducing national debt to 94%. In the medium-term, the national debt should reach 80-85%, he stated.
He explained that in order to achieve the second target, the government will keep implementing the value-added tax, and finalise the tax dispute law. This law would enhance the investment climate in several areas, such as customs and property taxes.
He added that the government will also keep rationalising spending, and effectively focus on enhancing the living standards of the lower-income segments through social support programmes.
The third goal is to improve the quality of life and services, like healthcare, education, infrastructure, roads, and electricity, and enhance the qualifications of workers and labourers.
He stated that the government is on its way to create a budget that does not focus on just enhancing economic indicators, but is rather based on the ministerial programmes. This will initially be applied to eight ministries, namely of higher education, scientific research, education, health, communications and information technology, housing, transportation, and social solidarity.
He said that the coming period will witness an increase in cash and food subsidies, and an increase of support for other social programmes.
He also noted that the government will develop the wages system to improve employees’ productivity, besides digitising government services.
El-Garhy said that other non-governmental stakeholders will participate in preparing the budget as well, which guarantee the transparency.