The government passed next year’s budget for the Ministry of Interior, raising the budget to over EGP 23bn.
During a discussion of the budget increase inside the Shura Council’s Committee for Arab, Foreign and National Security, the ministry representative said most of the budget increase will be allocated to compensations that will be paid to members of the police force. Of the EGP 4.7bn budget increase, EGP 2.4bn will go into rewards, he said.
The representative, Diaa Omar said that despite an increase in the income of members of the police force, the ministry intends to raise salaries even more, without exceeding the maximum wage.
He added that the ministry’s spending has increased because increased confrontations on the streets require an increased security presence.
Malek Adly, a lawyer at the Egyptian Centre for Social and Economic Rights, said that the representative’s remarks are merely a continuation of the ministry’s nonsensical outlook. He said that this stems from a “security mindset”. He believes policemen should not be rewarded for these confrontations on the streets. “This is his job… it is the ministry’s problem,” the lawyer said.
Adly said rewarding them is just like rewarding a child who passed an exam after taking it a second time.
“We have other problems” in infrastructure, environment, and education among others, he said, suggesting that EGP 2bn could be used to try and fix them.
“This is why we have filed a lawsuit to allow the Egyptian public to decide where the money goes… so that the budget is part of a social discussion,” he said. The case is currently being circulated in the court system.
Currently, policemen who supervise student exams are paid by both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Interior. Those who perform services for the Tourism Ministry are also paid by both ministries; the same applies for police officers who perform services for the ministries of finance or electricity.
Omar said the Police Act allows policemen to be rewarded by banks and other institutions outside the ministry as long as the sources are legal.
“This was one of the problems we faced when we were working on an initiative to restructure the Interior Ministry,” Adly said. “This is a burden on the economy…. These are huge amounts of money.”