EIPR on the governmental budget: Priority goes to debts’ dues, the new capital and the high-profile officials

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The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights issued a report on the Egyptian governmental budget for 2021/2022, which Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified last week and came into effect from the first of July.

The report showed the rise of governmental spending, but explained that the rise is disproportional with the challenges raised by Covid19 pandemic, especially on public services and health sector. The rise went to the debts’ dues and interests, which absorb the governmental budget.

Contrary to the governmental affirmations, the analysis indicated that the health sector came fifth in the priorities of the governmental spending. Despite an increase of EGP 15 billion for the sector budget, the total governmental spending on the health sector is still under the half of the ratio determined by the constitution, which is worth of 3% of the total budget. The subsidy allocated to the at-state-expense treatment was not increased. In addition, the budget witnessed decline of the spending on the subsidies, especially those allocated for the family sector, such as the medical insurance and medications, which declined despite the persistence of Covid19 pandemic. The fuel subsidy also decreased from EGP 5.6 billion to EGP 3.7 billion. The budget of social assistance programs, such as Takaful wa Karama program of financial transactions, was not increased despite the increase of those vulnerable to poverty.

The public services sector of the budget, which involves the governmental debt’s dues and the allocations to the presidency and the legislative bodies, seized the highest increase with EGP 80.7 billion, mainly for debts’ dues and interests and wages of high-profile officials. The same sector got the biggest share of the governmental investment, with EGP 132.4 billion. In the second place came the allocation for the public security sector, which involves the courts and the police, with EGP 36.6 billion. The education kept his third place within the priorities, but is still under the minimum ratio determined by the constitution, which is worth of 4% of the total budget.

EIPR suggested that the big increase of investment in public services is due to the cost of constructions in the New Administrative Capital, which is linked with the allocations of the presidency and the legislative and executive bodies. The report recorded the difference between the governmental financial statement and the original budget tables over the allocations of education and health, as the statement mentioned figures that double those inserted in the tables.