Egypt Independent

Abouelnaga: FJP stalled IMF loan, Cabinet behind economic recovery



Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abouelnaga said on Monday that "the dissolved Parliament’s attitude was behind the failure to sign the agreement with the IMF to lend Egypt US$3.2 billion to support the budget."

During a press briefing after a meeting for the Cabinet, Abouelnaga claimed, "The stance of Freedom and Justice Party who was representing the majority in People’s Assembly was the obstruction of an agreement on the reform program of Egypt, which had been prepared by the government of Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri."

Now an agreement with IMF is up to the next government, added Abouelnaga. The objective of the agreement with the fund was not only to get a loan, but more importantly to boost Egypt’s economy and attract foreign investments, Abouelnaga said.

Abouelnaga said that because of the work of the Cabinet, the economy began to recover and that the government was able to stop the depletion of the cash reserves.

"We lost US$21 billion since the revolution," she said. "But reserves were increased in the past three months to US$15 billion."

She added that the government was able to maintain the availability of goods at reasonable prices despite projections by Arab and foreign newspapers that Egypt's economy would collapse and that Egypt risks a "revolution of the hungry."

"Egypt’s reduced credit rating was only due to a lack of stability in tourism," she explained.

The minister said all commodities and supplies are available, particularly in co-ops, where supply was increased by 20 percent in preparation for the month of Ramadan.

"The ministry managed to provide LE65 million through international grants and agreements to guarantee the basic needs of citizens," she said.

"We have enough wheat until January 2013," she added, pointing out that the production of wheat this year was 9.5 million tons, compared to 6.5 million tons last year.

"We worked in extremely difficult circumstances and amid ongoing and systematic attack," she said. "But our success is confirmed by figures."

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm