Egypt needs budget of 1 trillion USD to improve conditions: president

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that the country needs a budget of at least 1 trillion U.S. dollars to improve its conditions and resolve its problems.

“A country like Egypt needs at least a budget of 1 trillion U.S. dollars. I said this many times. Why are our conditions like this? It is because our economic conditions are difficult,” the Egyptian president said.

Sisi’s remarks came during the second and last day of the 7th National Youth Conference held in the under-construction new administration capital city eastern Cairo.

He noted that the state budget has always been inconsistent with the population growth, noting that the population rose from about 20 million people in 1950 to more than 100 million in 2019.

“Our state budget over the past decades was less than required,” said the Egyptian president, pointing out that it led to accumulated problems.

He explained that the government is working hard within the available financial resources.

Sisi approved in late June the state budget for the 2019/20 fiscal year with projected expenditures of 1.575 trillion Egyptian pounds (about 95.1 billion dollars) and expected total revenues of 1.158 trillion pounds (about 70 billion dollars).

The government targets a budget deficit of 7.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) instead of an expected 8.4-percent deficit, and seeks to achieve GDP growth rate of 6 percent in the 2019/20 fiscal year compared with 5.6 percent in 2018/19.

Egypt’s fiscal year starts in early July and ends in late June.

Egypt started in November 2016 a three-year austerity-based economic reform program including local currency devaluation, fuel and energy subsidy cuts and introduction of a value-added tax.

The country’s reform program is supported by a 12-billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund, whose officials praised Egypt’s successful implementation of the reform measures.