Sources from within parliament said that the Ministry of Social Solidarity had financial assets worth EGP 400m, as companies and various parties paid the insurance funds due for seasonal and temporary employment.
The sources, who requested to remain anonymous, told Daily News Egypt that these funds are to be expended on labour support and improvement despite lacking the accurate national database.
The ministry is considering utilising this ministerial surplus to fund President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s recent initiative which is predicated on providing insurance for seasonal and temporary labourers (day labourers) in the coming period.
The parliament’s labour force committee held a closed meeting with the Ministries of Finance, Social Solidarity, Labour, Health, Business Sector, and Youth on Monday. The meeting was attended by the Central Agency for Organisation and Administration, the Federation of Egyptian Industries, and Egyptian Trade Union Federation to develop a vision to be implemented within the framework of Al-Sisi’s latest initiative.
“There is a meeting expected with the same bodies to discuss the submission of a draft law to the House of Representatives in this regard or to expand the application of the Labour Law on seasonal and temporary employment,” said MP Abdel Razek Al Zant, secretary of parliament’s labour force committee.
He said the committee will invite the National Population Council and the Egyptian Union for Construction (EUC) to participate in the next meeting to determine the real number of temporary workers.
Although the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) estimates the number of seasonal workers at 1.2 million, Al Zant said that seasonal and temporary employees are between 8 and 10 million in Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of graduates at industrial and technical schools are still listed as degree holders without reference to their temporary jobs, in addition to university students who work during the summer vacation.
Omar Hassan, head of the social security division of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, said that the total number of self-insured workers is close to 2 million, however, there is no current ballpark figure of the total value of funding this number requires.
“A committee chaired by Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly is set to convene to manage the insurance initiative’s funding as well as discuss opportunities of investment in various sectors,” Hassan revealed.
The total value of social insurance funds came to EGP 705bn by the end of the last fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017. The ministry has investments worth EGP 3bn from the Suez Canal investment certificates as well as hard currency deposits worth EGP 2.6bn in Egyptian banks, he added.
He pointed out that the total sum of cash directed to the insurance sector by the government amounted to about EGP 339bn. The funds are issued with official cheques to offset this amount with a return of 9% per annum.
Hassan concluded by revealing that EGP 20bn is actually invested in bank deposits and EGP 102bn in treasury bills and bonds, whereas the total direct investment of insurance has ticked up to EGP 144bn.