The Ministry of Finance plans to regularly pay financial allocations to social programmes without waiting for ministerial approval to ensure continuity of services to citizens, said Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian.
In statements made Wednesday, Dimian said: “The new mechanism will include the transfer of allocations as regular payments.” This will range from quarterly to monthly, with the general budget council to be notified with no need for prior approval from the minister.
“The Health Insurance Organization [HIO] will benefit from the new mechanism, as EGP 76.4m will be transferred to the organization for the second payment for the health insurance programme for children under school age and the women breadwinner’s programme,” Dimian said. “The state treasury is bearing the cost of the two programmes, the first of which has 14.5 million beneficiaries and the second 621,800.”
He said the value of the third and fourth payments for the health programme will be made available at the beginning of each quarter of the fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015. These payments will allow the HIO to continue providing high-quality healthcare services.
Dimian estimated the amount of funding made available to subsidise ration supplies from 1 July 2014 through November 2014 was EGP 12.8bn. Of this, EGP 6.8 will go towards bread subsidies and EGP 6bn for ration cards.
The minister said that EGP 71m was made available to the Egyptian Railway Authority, including EGP 44m for the value of student subscription subsidies for the month of September. This includes EGP 3.5m for students in elementary school up to high school, EGP 463,000 for higher education students, EGP 281,000 for students at Al-Azhar institutions, and EGP 144,500 to Al-Azhar students. He pointed out that the value of the subsidies would be paid monthly.
Dimian also said that he agreed to make EGP 67.4m available to the Railway Authority to subsidise lines that were not economically feasible.
Mohamed Abdel Fattah, head of the public budget sector, said that his department formed a working group to review dues owed to the Railway Authority on a monthly basis. This was to transfer funds monthly as the organisation uses the money to purchase spare parts and supplies and carry out periodic maintenance work.
Regarding the map of lines that are not economically feasible, Abdel Fattah pointed out that the lines cover 22 governorates across Egypt and affect 916 trains that transport approximately 40.946 million passengers per month.