Egypt targets 7% economic growth: Araby
Minister of Planning Ashraf al-Araby - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: The government is seeking to acheive 7 percent economic growth in the coming period, while poverty rate hit 26 percent, Minister of Planning Ashraf el-Araby said Monday.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF,) projected Egypt’s economy to grow by 2.3 percent and 4.1 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively, in its April World Economic Outlook.

“The poverty rate in Egypt reached 26 percent, which is a worrying level,” Araby said on the sidelines of an economic conference held in Cairo Monday.

The current administration has recently adopted a number of economic reforms such as raising fuel prices between 40 percent and 78 percent for petrol, and 175 percent for natural gas early July, following a decision by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to reduce subsidies.

Food and energy subsidies eat up a quarter of state budge which recorded 189.4 billion EGP (around 9.3 percent of GDP) shortfall during the first 11 months of the fiscal year 2013/14, compared to 204.9 billion EGP (11.7 percent of GDP) during the same period in the previous FY.

In June, Sisi approved a revised and tightened budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year where the deficit was reduced to 240 billion EGP ($33.57 billion), 10 percent of GDP, while the budget draft foresaw a 292 billion EGP shortfall.

Bread subsidies were also cut by 13 percent to 18.5 billion EGP in the new budget, down from 21.3 billion EGP in the previous FY.

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