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Egypt updates its economic plan to obtain IMF loan

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The government is in the process of updating the economic plan it presented to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an attempt to secure the $4.8 billion loan desperately sought by Egypt.

“One part is to see, go back and revisit those measures that they had put on hold, which they need to reinstate” and “to look at what is their assessment of the impact of these measures now on revenues,” Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department, told reporters in Washington Friday, as reported by Bloomberg.

Masood added that the government is also trying “to ensure that the measures that they’re putting forward are both adequate to respond to the economic and financial challenges and are consistent and compatible with their political imperatives.”

“You don’t want to move forward with a programme that is only partly financed,” said Masood.

Answering a question concerning the deteriorating interest rate of the Egyptian pound, Ahmed said the IMF supports the government’s attempts to strengthen their international reserves and to have a well-functioning foreign- exchange market.

“It is part of that process that they’ve put in place these auctions and in a way the price is reflecting the supply and demand but the important thing is to keep focus on the objective which they have set out,” he said.

During his visit to Cairo last week, Ahmed had reaffirmed the IMF’s commitment to supporting Egypt in addressing its increasing economic challenges and moving to a more inclusive model of economic growth through a socially-balanced home-grown programme confirming that an IMF technical team would visit Cairo in the coming weeks to resume discussions on possible IMF financial support.

The IMF delegation had reached a preliminary agreement with the Egyptian government after negotiations held in November that was supposed to get approval from the IMF executive board late December.

Samir Radwan a former finance minister had earlier told Daily News Egypt: “When the IMF delegation was here in November they reached a preliminary agreement on the programme, the government was supposed to execute it, and then they suspended the execution of the programme because of the referendum on the new constitution before it gets approved by the IMF executive board.

“Under pressure from the American government, the IMF delegation came back to show their commitment to Egypt,” Radwan continued. “It’s clear that there are new facts, but the question remains whether the government will be able to put forward this programme, publish it and get public support before the upcoming parliamentary elections.”


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