The Shura Council’s Committee for Arab, Foreign and National Security decided to postpone a decision on the proposed budget increase for the Ministry of Interior.
The committee members’ agreed to postpone approving or rejecting the budget increase until the ministry can provide details of how it aims to restore peace and security to Egypt’s streets. The representatives in the committee were critical of the Interior Ministry for not providing such a plan to accompany the request for a budget increase.
Committee Chairman Reda Fahmy said: “The ministry expansion itself will not work with these figures. These are not meaningful figures and we do not agree with this method of presenting [the request].”
Diaa Omar, the financial representative of the ministry, stated that the budget is “divided into different sections and the need for expenses to train soldiers is not shared by other ministries”.
Shura Council Majority Leader and Freedom and Justice Party member Essam Al-Erian called on the “Ministry of Interior to submit its plan, in the sense of number of buildings, weapons and armour required by the ministry”.
The cabinet passed the proposed EGP 23bn budget to the Shura Council for discussion. The ministry is requesting an increase of EGP 4.7bn, allocating EGP 2.4bn for rewards and salaries.
Omar claimed in a committee discussion on Saturday that the ministry’s spending has gone up due to increased confrontations on the streets, requiring an increased security presence.
The government’s budget came under fire from rights groups in April who claimed there was no transparency in the budget process. A coalition of political parties and NGOs called for the government to release the budget and for the Shura Council to postpone discussions until a public debate had taken place. The budget was not released before the Shura Council discussion began. Later in April the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights filed a lawsuit against the government over the transparency of the budget.