CAIRO: The National Democratic Party on Sunday sought to reassure members at its annual conference that the benefits of economic liberalization would eventually trickle down to the poor.
Opening the conference’s second day, Gamal Mubarak, party assistant secretary general, emphasized that reforms were not merely for the benefit of the country’s rich and powerful.
“The party stresses its commitment to social development highlighting the principle of social justice, Mubarak told the 6,700 delegates.
Even as Mubarak junior listed priorities of housing, water and sewage services, other ministers sought patience from delegates voicing their concerns about growing poverty and unemployment.
“There is an unlucky segment of Egyptian society that does not feel the benefits of economic reform, Finance Minister Yussef Boutros Ghali said.
“Twenty percent of Egyptian people do not know how to deal with the mechanisms of the market, he said, adding that the government would be paying special attention to that percentage.
Egypt has seen a rising tide of industrial unrest in recent months, with textile workers and tax collectors striking over pay amid rampant inflation and a sharp rise in the cost of living while state subsidies dwindle.
Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid urged young people to lower their expectations, saying there was a shortage of workers in factories because of university graduates holding out in the hope of better prospects.
Following his father’s announcement last week that Egypt would relaunch its nuclear power program, Gamal said that the party wanted to ensure sustainable energy by 2022.
The party will “start work on implementing Egypt’s nuclear program which includes the building of four nuclear power stations by 2022, with energy output equal to seven million tonnes of petrol.
“The first station should be working in 2017/2018, he said. Agence France-Presse