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Social reform and reduced deficit highlight reform programme in one of parliament's first measures: Ismail - Daily News Egypt

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Social reform and reduced deficit highlight reform programme in one of parliament’s first measures: Ismail

Agreements totalling 4.5bn with WB and African Development Bank bolster tentative reform programme

A government programme focused on reducing the budgetary deficit, increasing treasury resources, and implementing social reform will be among the first measures presented to the next parliament for consideration, according to Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.

Media outlets have speculated that the next parliament will hold its first session within the week; however,  formal assembly of the parliament is attendant on President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi official appointment of the final 28 parliamentary members.

The government’s plans for broad economic and social reform are speculated to be predicated upon recent lending agreements with the World Bank (WB) and African Development Bank, that totalled $3bn and $1.5bn respectively, according to a source from the Egyptian cabinet

The Egyptian state’s budget deficit increased to EGP 3.78bn, equivalent to 8.2% of GDP, during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016, compared to EGP 8.65bn during the same period of last year, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Among those initiatives noted by Ismail in his press release, the framework for the government’s reforms will address issues related to the pricing of quality services, the state’s trade imbalance,  waste management, desertification of agricultural land, and the maintenance of public reserves.

The framework also aims to improve the investment climate of the private sector in the implementation of economic and social development plans, the development of nationalized economic institutions and entities— including Egypt Air—, and the encouragement of domestic production.

The ministry will present the final account of the FY 2014-2015 budget to the president for approval, within days,  which will include financial indicators already achieved in terms of the deficit, growth, and debit.

In 2014, the Egyptian government began to implement an economic reform plan to revitalise the economy, which has been suffering since the 25 January Revolution in 2011, under pressure of the country’s depleted dollar resources that has resulted from a lack of tourism and the lack of direct foreign investment.

The government targets a growth rate of 5-5.5% during the FY 2015-2016, while the rate was 4.2% in FY 2014-2015.

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