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Parliament summons ministers of finance, planning to discuss government projects - Daily News Egypt

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Parliament summons ministers of finance, planning to discuss government projects

Nour Party likely to reject the government's programme and coordinates with 25/30 Coalition and other independent members to form strong cluster against Egypt's Support Coalition

Parliament’s economic committee summoned on Saturday the ministers of finance and planning to discuss the government projects announced by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail before parliament last week.

Much of details behind the financing for these projects remain ambiguous, said a member of the economic committee, Amr Gohary. These projects are scheduled to be implemented during the next two years according to the government’s programme.

Gohary added that the summoning of ministers to attend parliament’s session does not represent a rejection of the government programme, but rather an attempt to understand it.

The economic committee will submit its report to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal, who will present the government’s programme for the vote.

The House of Representatives is not entitled to amend the programme or add any notes, but it can either reject or accept it as a whole, said Gohary.

A parliamentary source said that Nour Party is leaning towards rejecting the government’s programme. The party is coordinating with the 25/30 coalition and some independent members to form a strong group in the face of Egypt’s Support coalition.

The source added that the government’s programme, which was submitted to parliament on Sunday, lacked a fixed timetable by which the parliament could call the government to account for these projects.

Ismail told Abdul Aal that the government’s programme is due to be implemented over the next two years.

MP Ahmed El-Argawy said: “We want a specific timetable. What will happen in the case that the government cannot implement the announced projects within two years? Not to mention the absence of clear mechanisms to finance these projects.”

The government submitted the state budget draft for fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017 to parliament last week, as the constitution stipulates that it has to be delivered 90 days before the end of the current FY 2015/2016.

The government targets a budget deficit of 9.9% by the end of FY 2016/17 to reach EGP 3.2tn of the GDP.

MP Ashraf El-Araby said that there is an urgent question about the mechanism of determining the overall deficit of the state budget draft, which was calculated on the basis of registering EGP 3.2tn of GDP in FY 2016/2017, compared to EGP 2.8tn during this fiscal year.

He wondered: “Does the Egyptian economy achieve a growth up to EGP 400bn every year? Of course not, this means that the budget deficit for the next fiscal year will be much bigger than that.”

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