Budget deficit hits 163.3 billion EGP in 10 months, MOF
Ministry of Finance - YOUM7(Archive)

CAIRO: Egypt’s budget deficit recorded 163.3 billion EGP ($22 billion) during 10 months of the current 2013/14 fiscal year, down from 183 billion EGP in the same period in 2013, Ministry of Finance (MOF) revealed in a Thursday report.

From July 2013 to April, the deficit amounted to eight percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that is expected to reach 2 trillion EGP by the end of the current FY, according to the report.

The interim government expects budget deficit to range between 11 percent 12 percent of GDP by the end of June, compared to 10.5 percent in 2012/13 FY.

On Monday, the first day of presidential election, the Cabinet submitted the final draft budget for FY 2014-15 that would raise state expenses by 10 percent to interim President Adly Mansour for formal ratification before implementation in July, according to a statement by Ministry of Finance press release.

This step was criticized as Mansour would endorse the budget with about a week before his successor [Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is the winner according to initial results] will take office.

“Mahlab administration is speeding up the budget so that Sisi will wash his hands of responsibility for its endorsement,” head of the Egyptian Private Equity Association Hany Tawfik said.

Tawfik told The Cairo Post that a new parliament could amend this budget, but this would be “too complicated and too late,” since governmental bodies receive their allocations in the new budget before July 1: “These allocations are pumped into new projects, investments as well as specific expenses.”

The results of the elections will be announced June 4, less than a month before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. A budget submitted after a new Cabinet appointed by the president could not be finished in time for the new fiscal year, he said, adding however, that it would be within the power of the interim government to extend the current budget with the approval of the new president.

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