The final account report of Egypt’s general budget for the fiscal year 2021/2020 revealed corruption and a massive administrative failure of the government, which led to the wasting of hundreds of millions of pounds without accountability or oversight. According to the constitution’s text, the report prepared by the House of Representatives was not published to the public. Still, some parliamentarians and newspapers leaked excerpts of its shocking content, which fueled the burning anger in the hearts of Egyptians, prompting many to demand the dismissal of the government and the opening of serious investigations into the crimes discovered.
Luxury cars with loan money
The most prominent observation revealed by the parliamentary report is the continuation of the phenomenon of malmanagement of the grant or loan agreements with international and regional organizations, such as the loan signed between the government and the World Bank in 2019 worth $500 million for the development of Upper Egypt, especially the governorates of Qena and Sohag, which was to be It is disbursed to Egypt in instalments until 2021. Still, only $5 million was spent from it until last June, the value of employees’ salaries and the purchase of luxury cars for officials in the two governorates, which resulted in the state bearing the burdens of paying the importance of commitment commissions on the undisbursed amounts of the loan on time.
The report pointed out that Parliament did not receive an answer to its legitimate questions about the spending of the Coordinating Office of the Upper Egypt Development Program for $5 million of the loan, despite the lack of start-up, after the data revealed the disbursement of 16 million pounds in salaries to the employees of this office, in addition to 1.3 million pounds in the value of travel tickets and hotel reservations. In addition to 5 million pounds worth of operating expenses without specifying what they are, and 2.5 million pounds the importance of purchasing furniture and office equipment, in addition to buying luxury cars worth 13 million pounds for some officials in the governorates of Sohag and Qena, despite the previous purchase of several cars for the same officials, within a short period.
The report revealed that the cars that who purchased for officials in Sohag governorate are: 4 Toyota Corolla cars for the general secretary and assistant general secretary in the governor’s office worth 2 million pounds, in addition to a Mercedes E300 car worth 1.9 million pounds, and a BMW car with 740 thousand pounds, with a total of 5.3 million pounds. As for the cars that were purchased from the loan funds for officials in Qena Governorate, they amounted to 7.5 million pounds, represented by; A Mercedes E200 worth 1.5 million pounds, a Jeep Ranger SUV with 1.9 million pounds, a Mercedes E180 1.4 million pounds, and another Grand Cherokee with 1.3 million pounds, in addition to a Peugeot 940 thousand pounds. A parliamentary committee recommended that the government rely in the future on state resources and not expand borrowing to finance similar programs after official reports revealed identical facts in several projects to construct and renew sewage and drinking water networks in different governorates and establish metro lines.
22% cut in subsidies budget
MP Farid Al-Bayadi revealed, during the discussion of the final account report for the 2020/2021 budget, that the description revealed three disasters committed by the government: failure, providing false information, and suspicions of corruption. Al-Bayadi explained that the government failed to manage the economic file, as there were billions of pounds in losses in government agencies, and the government, which came after the decision to float the pound in 2016, did not invest that in building a productive economy and ended with another flotation and dumping of the average and low-income citizen.
Al-Bayadi indicated that the second disaster in the report was that the government provided false information. For example, the government report stated that the total value of spending on subsidies, grants and social benefits amounted to 338.9 billion pounds, an increase of 1.8 billion pounds over the original appropriation in the budget law. Still, after reviewing the regulatory authorities’ reports, the actual spending amounted to 263.9 billion pounds, with a decrease of 75 billion pounds, which is equivalent to approximately 22% of the total appropriation for this item!
MP Sanaa Al-Saeed revealed that the government is saving in the budget by deducting the allocations for the working classes, setting an example by reducing the bonuses allocated to teachers from 20 billion pounds to 12 billion pounds only, and reducing the given incentives for teachers from 2.8 million pounds to 1.2 million pounds only. MP Maha Abdel Nasser added that only 6% of the allocations for scientific research in the budget were used, asking, “How is this done while we are in the year of Corona, even though the government should have focused on scientific research to find solutions to the epidemic? This confirms the failure of the new administrator.
Parliament presented several recommendations to the government before passing the final account report for the fiscal year 2020/2021 with the support of the majority of deputies loyal to the Sisi regime. On top of these recommendations: the practical application of the system of accountability for the decisions issued by some officials in some authorities and which result in wasting public money or not benefiting from it or misusing it, merging several ministries and cancelling others, in addition to connecting several economic authorities (53 agencies), with the service (161 agencies) to rationalize spending and prevent conflict between them. He called on Parliament to reconsider the system for the use of consultants and experts in the entities involved in the general budget, in a way that ensures the application of standards of efficiency, merit and experience in the recruitment process and that it be within the narrowest limits in light of the increasing number of advisers and experts in some ministries to 54 experts and consultants.
Parliament also recommended giving priority when developing the investment plan to implement the projects that are being completed and making the necessary appropriations for this purpose.