CAIRO: Egypt’s Prime Minister said Wednesday the government will increase pensions and beneficiaries at a monthly cost of LE 100 to LE 120 million, a week before an expected visit by the International Monetary Fund.
Kamal El-Ganzoury said the Cabinet decided to raise the social security pension from LE 150 to LE 200 starting January 2012 and to increase the number of families benefiting from the pension by adding 235,000 families, making the total 1.5 million families.
Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Aboul Naga said that there will be a visit from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Egypt next week.
“Incorrect press reports have stated that [the visit] was cancelled, but it was only postponed as it was scheduled during the week when the events at the Cabinet of Ministers took place. Then there are the Christmas and New Year’s holidays,” she explained.
She assured current investors about settlement plans. “No lands will be confiscated from investors; however the lands will be revalued and the investors will pay the state the difference.”
The government will be providing 76,000 housing units within the next six months, which will cost them LE 700 million.
The press conference that followed the Cabinet meeting addressed the elections, with confirmations that the vote counting during the Shoura Council elections will be at the polling stations, and the ballot boxes won’t be transferred to central counting stations as with the case of the ongoing People’s Assembly elections.
El-Ganzoury said that Egyptians should celebrate many accomplishments on Jan. 25, including “elections like no other in the past 50 or 60 years.”
“We are on the verge of having a constitution that [guarantees] democracy, freedom, equality, no discrimination and rotation of power,” he added.
He applauded the efforts by the Ministry of Interior in restoring security on the streets, saying that it is getting better everyday. The Minister of Interior, who is in constant contact with the premier throughout the day, is always present on the streets, El-Ganzoury said.
“This goes back to how the security forces are regaining their moral support and the people’s trust,” he added.
The prime minister noted that the government will not be making any decision on the controversial real estate nor the insurance and pensions laws. “There are mixed opinions and contradictory articles in these laws, so the People’s Assembly which will meet on Jan. 23 will discuss them,” he said.