Parliament gives final approval for 2016/ 2017 state budget

Wednesday 29-06-2016 06:20 PM

Egypt's parliament, the House of Representatives. ASWAT MASRIYA

CAIRO, Jun 29 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt’s House of Representatives approved on Wednesday the state budget for fiscal year 2016/2017 and sent it to the president for ratification.

The budget will be effective starting July after it is published in the state's official newspaper.

The parliament made its final approval for the government’s economic and social development plan for the upcoming fiscal year, state-owned MENA reported.

On Tuesday, the parliament approved the draft budget in principle and referred it to the State Council for review as required by the Egyptian constitution.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel ‘Al said during today’s session that the State Council approved the budget as it is, without any amendments.

The parliament only added a percentage of spending on sewage and drinking water to the health budget to abide by the Egyptian constitution's allocated percentage for health. 

Article 19 of Egypt’s 2014 constitution stipulates: The state shall allocate a percentage of government spending to health equivalent to at least 3% of Gross National Product (GNP), which shall gradually increase to comply with international standards.

Some party members and parliamentarians who opposed the draft budget said that the general budget for fiscal year 2016/2017 runs the risk of "unconstitutionality" because it did not abide by the GNP allocations stipulated in the constitution in a number of sectors including health, education and housing.

Egypt’s budget deficit had risen to 9.8 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first ten months of the current fiscal year compared to 9.5 per cent during the same period last year, the finance ministry said on Jun. 21.

Egypt’s government expects the budget deficit for the fiscal year 2015/ 2016 to be between 11 per cent and 11.5 per cent and aims to reduce it to 9.9 per cent in the upcoming fiscal year.

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