Government to reduce spending in bid to offset budget deficit

A Finance Ministry official has said that the government plans to reduce its spending in order to offset the state budget deficit. It vows to cease building new offices and only buy Egyptian products.

The plan aims to reduce the LE134 billion deficit by LE20 billion.

“We have set a maximum wage for government officials at 35 times the minimum wage,” said Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed. “And we’ll stop buying expensive cars.”

In its first meeting on Monday, the new government wrote off bank interest amounting to LE153.7 million for more than 22,000 farmers banking with the state-owned Agricultural Credit Bank.

It has also agreed to reschedule farmers’ debts over another five years, and pay the debts of 25 farmers who have been imprisoned for failing to pay them. The debts total some LE4.8 million.

“We have allocated LE150 million to buy the cotton from the farmers,” said International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abouelnaga. “And we have postponed the real estate tax for a year.”

The minister also said Arab and foreign investors would be able to pay the government the difference in prices for state-owned land they bought cheap, without having to resort to international arbitration.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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