Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), has endorsed the 2011/2012 state budget after it was amended and approved by the cabinet.
The total budget expenditure was amended from LE515 billion to LE491 billion, of which 54 percent would be directed to social projects.
The minimum wage was reduced from LE700 to LE684 per month as of July, with an annual total of LE9 billion to be paid in wages for two million government employees.
Expenditure on education decreased from LE55 billion to LE 52 billion, health from LE24 billion to LE23.8 billion, and housing from LE21 billion to LE16.7 billion.
The SCAF had rejected the first state budget proposal that showed a total deficit of LE170 billion, amounting to 11 percent of GDP, which prompted the government to revise the deficit to LE134 billion, or 8.6 percent of GDP, by reducing total government expenditure.
Finance Minister Samir Radwan explained that the government aims to offset LE120 billion of the deficit by creating local investment opportunities, while the remaining LE14 billion would be offset by encouraging Gulf states to invest in Egypt.
Radwan, who is accompanying Prime Minister Essam Sharaf in his Gulf tour, said Egypt can do without loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for at least a year if the government receives financial aid from the Arab countries.
Translated from the Arabic Edition