The Ministry of Finance referred the state’s general budget to the presidency for approval Monday, it announced in an official statement. This coincides with the first day of presidential elections.
The state’s healthcare budget was increased to EGP51bn from the past year’s EGP 42bn, while education spending has also surged to EGP105bn, compared to EGP 93bn allocated during the previous fiscal year. Scientific research was boosted to EGP1.8bn, an EGP400m rise from last year.
The allocated figure for electricity subsidies jumped from EGP18bn to EGP 33bn.
Meanwhile, petroleum subsidies have been cut to EGP104bn, compared to last year’s EGP 135bn – an approximately EGP 31bn decrease.
A minimal increase was seen in the subsidies for necessary commodities, which were up EGP 200m. If the previously mentioned changes are implemented, the government’s budget deficit target will reach EGP 288bn.
Without these changes, the government’s target would be EGP 342bn, the same budget deficit registered during the current fiscal year.
The submission of the budget coinciding with the presidential elections raises questions over the accountability of the next president and cabinet for any issues relating to the change in subsidies and other allocations.