Egypt’s 2021-22 draft budget and development plans are now with the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower house of Egypt’s parliament, for discussion.
According to Fakhri Al-Fiqi, chair of the committee, the discussion will take place in hearings to which the ministers of finance and planning will be invited over the next two weeks.
“All of parliament’s 25 committees will also examine the budget and give comments and recommendations at the end of the process,” Al-Fiqi said.
A Finance Ministry report said the new budget aims to maintain financial stability, achieve fiscal discipline, contain the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, and stimulate economic activity by introducing a new package of investment incentives.
Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait told the cabinet on 24 March that the new budget focused on boosting economic activity, particularly in the industrial and exports sectors. “The budget allocates LE6 billion to industrial and export-promotion programmes and LE2.1 billion to funding the national project to switch vehicles to natural gas instead of diesel and petrol,” Maait said.
The report said the draft budget targeted revenues of LE1.3 trillion ($82.7 billion), up from a projected LE1.17 trillion in the current 2020-21 budget. “The government is targeting an annual increase in revenues of 16.4 per cent, to be primarily achieved by expanding the tax base, automating tax operations, activating electronic payment methods, and maximising the financial returns on state assets,” the report said.
Maait said one of the main goals of the new budget was to finance improvements in the country’s infrastructure. “This will come about through upgrading public services, raising the quality of public utilities, modernising villages, and streamlining drainage and canal systems,” he said.