CAIRO: Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said that the overall budget deficit had decreased from 4.6 percent to 4.4 percent during the past seven months, compared to the financial indicators of the budget for the last fiscal year.
During a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Maait discussed the follow-up of “economic and financial performance indicators” during the first seven months of the current fiscal year. He explained that this period had witnessed a primary surplus of LE18.1 billion ($1.16 billion) with an increase of 16 percent in revenues compared to an increase in expenditures of 12.4 percent.
Maait pointed to an increase in the rate and volume of government investments in diverse sectors, especially in infrastructure and services, in addition to an increase in expenditures supporting economic growth by about 23 percent, with a value of LE392 billion.
The minister noted that spending on national programs of social protection had risen by about 24 percent, at a value of LE144 billion.
Maait reviewed future expectations of what the financial and economic indicators of the overall budget would be by the end of the fiscal year 2020/2021 in light of the repercussions of the pandemic, in addition to economic reforms.
A spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency said that the meeting had also reviewed the results of the Ministry of Finance offering dollar bonds in international markets, worth $3.75 billion, in three tranches.
Maait had indicated the ministry’s success in the international issuance of bonds at interest rates that are considered the lowest to offer dollar bonds.
The latest developments related to the automation and development of the tax system were also reviewed during the meeting, including the automation of tax procedures that were launched last month.
This was in addition to reviewing the stages of developing the system to move to a new phase in tax administration, including the use of the electronic tax invoice and the electronic receipt system, as well as the restructuring and modernization of the system and tax authority.
El-Sisi has also directed expediting and completing the process of automating and developing all institutions and sectors of the Finance Ministry as planned.
This is to help in the governance of the financial system, in accordance with the best standards, including the customs sector, through the application of the prior information system and pre-release to reduce the customs release time and facilitate the movement of trade to and from Egypt.