Egypt eager to increase funding on health and education sectors: Minister

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait announced that Egypt aims to boost spending on its health, education and social development sectors to implement its strategy of building human capacities, done so via expanding effective initiatives with specific goals with which citizens may feel the fruits of development efforts to improve daily living.

His remarks came during the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, held via through video-conference in the presence of the ‎Vice Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies and Institutional Reform Ahmed Kouchouk.

Maait said that Universal Health Coverage is the primary tool for reforming the health sector, and noted the importance of national initiatives launched by the government in this sector, such as how it succeeded in eliminating the Hepatitis C virus and waiting lists for surgeries.

And electronic implementation of the state’s general budget contributes to achieving further financial discipline, he said, thereby raising the efficiency of public spending and the optimal directing of financial resources in light of the government’s priorities.

Maait also noted efforts to modernize and digitize the tax administration system and the unified automated tax procedures platform, which allows it to submit all electronic declarations with a unified tax number for each taxpayer, reduce tax evasion, achieve tax justice, and include the informal economy in the formal economy.

During his meetings with the three credit rating institutions (Moody’s – Standard & Poor’s – Fitch) on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, Maait noted that Egypt is one of the countries that achieved a positive growth rate of 3.6 percent during the last fiscal year even with the onset of the coronavirus crisis, targeting 2.8 percent during the current fiscal year, and 5.4 percent during the next fiscal year.

The policy of rationalizing spending and maintaining strong financial sustainability is one of the most important tools that helped the government to achieve a primary budget surplus of 1.8 percent of GDP during the last fiscal year, he said, and reduced government debt rates from 92 percent to 88 percent of GDP in June 2020, despite the challenges facing the Egyptian economy in light of the pandemic.

The Finance Minister noted that the financial performance during the first nine months of the current fiscal year was strong in terms of public revenue growth rate.

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