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Minister of Finance criticised for his statements regarding taxpayers' accounts in banks - Daily News Egypt

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Minister of Finance criticised for his statements regarding taxpayers’ accounts in banks

This is not first time officials make statements that do not take certain aspects into consideration negatively affecting economy: Aboulfotouh

Several bank experts have strongly criticised Mohamed Moeit’s, the minister of finance, because of the statement he made on Sunday about countering tax evaders.

Moeit revealed that the ministry of finance is discussing with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) a legal mechanism to reserve the amounts owed to the state treasury in the banks.

Daily News Egypt has attempted to get a comment form the CBE on the minister’s statement, but has not received a response.

According to Hany Aboulfotoh, a banking expert, this is not the first time that officials issue statements that lack the required political sense, when it comes to issues that may have negative consequences on the economy, the confidence of investors, business owners, as well as banks’ depositors.

He pointed out that the person who makes such statements usually issues a report afterwards, explaining that the statements were taken out of their context, in order to avoid more damage.

He said, “I hope that senior officials at the ministry of finance are aware of the importance of resorting to a media spokesperson with a political and economic sense, and an awareness of the right way to address such critical issues related to investment and business”.

Aboulfotouh also stressed on the importance of having complete coordination between officials at the ministry, and the CBE officials in the issues of financial and monetary policy.

According to another banking expert, Zakaria Salah, putting the word “deposits” in any context by anyone but the CBE must not be acknowledged or taken seriously as it threatens people’s confidence in the banking sector.

He stressed that the minister of finance should not announce such things, in the absence of the CBE.

“Nothing will be enforced on any person’s bank account unless through a legal mechanism, as the CBE applies the law of accounts’ confidentiality thoroughly. No one is allowed to come close to the clients’ accounts,” Salah added.

He noted that collecting tax will not be, in any way, through reserving money from the clients’ accounts without their approval, and the CBE will not facilitate such a thing.

Salah stressed that the CBE guarantees deposits, and protects the clients’ accounts through its independence in making all its decisions.

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