MPs and govt disagree over poverty rate

President of the Central Audit Agency (CAA) Gawdat el-Malt criticized MPs who doubted CAA data on the government’s performance. He said his agency’s data is based on reports by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"Doubting World Bank data might offend Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, as he is the chair of the bank’s financial committee," said el-Malt.

Minister of Economic Development Othman Mohamed Othman cast doubt on El-Malt’s figures on the poverty level in Egypt. "The poverty level has receded from 31 percent to 26 percent in rural areas, and from 13 percent to 8.6 percent in urban areas," Othman claimed, which he said ruled out the suggestion that only a certain class of society is benefiting from economic reform.

El-Malt however said he relied on the 2009 UN Human Development Report which says Egypt failed to reflect its increased growth rate in the living standards of its citizens, and did not reduce its poverty rate.

"Poverty is estimated at 40 percent in rural areas and 18 percent in urban areas," he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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