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30% of first stimulus package spent: cabinet

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Cabinet spokesman says project implementation rates “not as hoped” due to tensions after 30 June

The economic ministerial committee said 30% of first stimulus package spent (Photo from Cabinet’s Facebook Page)

The economic ministerial committee said 30% of first stimulus package spent
(Photo from Cabinet’s Facebook Page)

After five months of adopting its first economic stimulus package, which amounted to EGP 29.6bn, the interim government has expended 30% of the amount allocated for its implementation, a Monday statement from the cabinet said.

Due to the tensions that Egypt has witnessed after 30 June, project implementation rates were not as hoped, official cabinet spokesman Hany Salah said in the statement.

The government has finished implementing a number of projects in the infrastructure sector, such as delivering natural gas to 340,000 residential units and reforming 150 railway crossings.

The Ministry of Petroleum is planning to deliver natural gas to 800,000 homes in the current fiscal year. In December alone, natural gas delivery to homes reached their highest level in 30 years, registering 80,000 residential units.

The achievements of the government’s stimulus plan were highlighted during Monday’s economic ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and attended by ministers of Finance, Investment, Planning, Petroleum, Supply, Housing and Agriculture.

The stimulus plan involved infrastructure-related projects such as strengthening electricity grids, completing 17 road projects to link governorates, constructing 50,000 residential units and reclaiming 32,600 agriculture acres along with other projects.

Financing for the first stimulus package is from a $9bn (nearly EGP 60bn) deposit in the Central Bank of Egypt, made after the Gulf War in the 1990s, Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal said in December.

On 28 January, Galal announced that the government has spent EGP 18bn from the first stimulus package.

Galal noted that the government will start spending the second stimulus package after finalising an agreement with Ministry of Petroleum to develop a programme for energy subsidies for the next fiscal year.

The government’s investment plans will yield results by the end of Q1 2014, Galal added.

During the first quarter of the 2013/2014 fiscal year, the value of local investments reached EGP 36bn, while new foreign direct investment (FDI) registered $1.3bn, Minister of Investment Osama Saleh said in the meeting.

The economic ministerial committee also approved to pay the latest portion of the delayed bonuses of textile company workers within a week. On Monday, several textile company workers held a strike in protest of unpaid bonuses amounting to EGP 155m, Alborsa newspaper reported.

In the coming months, Saleh is tasked with carrying out an inclusive reformation process to restructure textile companies, the official statement mentioned.


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