Government devises new economic reform program

The government has put the final touches on a new economic reform program to resolve the current economic crisis.

Government sources said the program aims to reduce the LE134 billion budget deficit, rationalize subsidies and increase expenditure on education and health.

They added that the program would be presented to all political forces, Islamist and liberal, for discussion, and that it is not linked to any borrowing from the International Monetary Fund.

However, they declined to divulge how the program would be financed, and there is concern that taxes on local and imported goods could be increased for that purpose.

The program also aims at increasing profits from state-owned land sales, treasury bills and VAT taxes.

Meanwhile, sources at the Finance Ministry said the IMF agreed to reduce the interest rate of the US$3.2 billion loan being negotiated from 1.5 to 1.1 percent.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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