The economic affairs committee of parliament plans to complete an aggregated report on the state’s economic bodies in the draft budget for the next fiscal year, to be submitted to the planning and budget committee.
Member of parliament (MP) Mohamed Saad Badrawy said that the committee has many reservations regarding the work of economic bodies and their financial allocations for the upcoming year, given the profits and revenues some of these bodies make.
He added that the various economic bodies include about 450,000 citizens costing the draft state budget for next fiscal year about EGP 20bn in bonuses, excluding basic salaries.
As proof of the weak performance of economic entities, he pointed to the allocations that the Egyptian Commercial Service, affiliated with the Ministry of Trade, obtains. It includes 127,000 employees working outside Egypt, with EGP 450m allocated for them in the next fiscal year, compared to EGP 200m this year.
Badrawy said, regarding the Egyptian Commercial Service headed by Ahmed Antar, that the share of the body’s 53 offices across the world of the allocations for export operations reached $750m last year.
Non-oil exports last year reached $21.007bn compared to $19.284bn during the same period of 2016, a 9% increase.
Parliamentary sources said that there are demands to reduce the bonuses of economic bodies by 50% during the upcoming fiscal year, with the necessity of examining the basic bonuses system inside these bodies in order to understand the share of each individual.
“The share of the various economic bodies is EGP 259bn in next fiscal year’s draft budget, while their surplus over the state treasury is EGP 200m, which means that there is a EGP 59bn deficit,” the sources added.
The sources explained that the surplus of some bodies is very small given the nature of the activity they practice, such as the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, the expected surplus of which during next fiscal year is EGP 25bn.
Last week, Daily News Egypt published the request of some economic bodies to increase their allocations during the upcoming fiscal year, such as the Egypt Expo and Convention Authority (EECA), which requested an increase in its financial allocations.
Hussein Eissa, the head of the planning and budget committee of parliament, said that his committee plans to write a final report regarding the draft budget for next fiscal year in early June in order for it to be referred to the general committee to set a date for its discussion.
The planning and budget committee of parliament writes a report on the meetings that took place and the observations made by the MPs regarding the draft budget, coinciding with all the observations made and requested by the qualitative committees regarding the allocations.
Amr El-Gohary, a member of the economic committee, said that the expenses of the EECA next year is estimated to be EGP 260m. “Returns are about the same amount, which makes us wonder: should we expect any profits from these bodies that contribute to bridging the deficit during next fiscal year?” he wondered.