Finance Minister: No need to raise fuel prices

Total proceeds from income and sales taxes reached LE148 billion during the fiscal year 2009/10, according to Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali.

Tax proceeds have increased by LE8.1 bn from last year, despite the international financial crisis, and the budget deficit has stabilized at 8.3 percent, the Finance Minister said.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Boutros-Ghali said there is no need to raise the prices of gasoline and diesel or other petroleum materials in order to finance the state budget for 2010/11.

Boutros-Ghali added that there is a plan to reduce the budget deficit by one percent annually, with the deficit dropping to 6.9 percent next year.

The minister also revealed that Hazem Hassan–a company that provides accounting and auditing services–topped the list of self-employed taxpayers. Mahmoud Saad, a famous media professional, comes in at number eight on the list, and the Finance Minister has given instructions to the head of the Tax Authority to verify how much money the TV presenter is making.

Nour el-Sherif, Youssra, Ahmed Helmy and Ahmed Ezz, all actors, come next on the list of taxpayers. They are followed by some well-known physicians: Tarek Mohamed Helmy, Ashraf Mohamed Abdel Monem and Riad Shokri Riad.

Boutros-Ghali said that taxes paid by Ezz Steel have slumped to LE84 million, compared to LE660 million the previous year.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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