Egypt: President OKs revised 2014-2015 budget

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sissi on Sunday approved a revised 2014-2015 budget which substantially revises down the budget deficit, announced the Ministry of Finance.

Egypt, which is preparing severe austerity measures in order to reform its economy, now expects a deficit of 240 billion Egyptian pounds ($ 24.6 billion), or 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), against 12% expected for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which ended Monday.

Abdel Fattah al Sissi had last week rejected a draft budget with a deficit of 292 billion LE . The Egyptian President also announced he would give half of his salary and properties to the State.

This statement was seen as a way to prepare the Egyptians for the difficult decisions, such as reduced energy subsidies and food commodities, including wheat, which represent about a quarter of the state budget.

All non-productive expenditures have been revised downwards,” said Sunday the spokesman of the Ministry of Finance, Ayman Alkaffas.

Asked about a possible reduction of subsidies, he replied that he could not provide a timetable or provide a list of products that could be affected.

Last month, the Ministry of Finance projected economic growth at 3.2% for the next fiscal year, a figure insufficient to create enough jobs for a population of 86 million people.

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