Al-Sisi to review government programme before submission to parliament: Prime Minister

Mohamed Ayyad
5 Min Read
Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail (DNE Photo)

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said the government completed a large part of its programme to be presented to the next parliament and then presented to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for review first.

The programme is not the sum total of a number of programmes from different ministries but rather reflects the government’s vision in facing numerous deficit crises in the state budget and improving the quality of education, health, and other services, Ismail said during a press conference Monday.

He said the government programme will be presented to the parliament over the course of several days, not exceeding one week.

He aspires, as Prime Minister, for an economic growth rate of 6% during the next fiscal year and to reduce the budget deficit to 8.5%. In addition, he anticipates the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) work to address the dollar crisis.

Ismail revealed the beginning of negotiations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia for a new deposit in dollars, the value of which has not been determined yet. This deposit is different from the previous one that was declared during the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in March.

Ismail said that Egyptian exports are still in decline, while imports are growing, which led to discrepancies in the balance of payments. Improving the balance of payments and attracting new investments are among the priorities in the government programme to be presented to parliament.

Ismail said the government has already begun negotiations with an international consultant to assist Egypt in the assessment of the status of security at the airport and benefit from the consultant’s expertise in the development of non-traditional mechanisms to secure airports.

Regarding legislation to be discussed by the cabinet in its upcoming meetings before the parliament convenes, Ismail said the law organising the press and media will be discussed during the cabinet meeting next Wednesday in preparation for its submission to Al-Sisi.

He said the Health Insurance Law will also be discussed during a cabinet meeting within two weeks, noting that he expects its approval by the parliament.

According to Ismail, an entity will be founded that will be responsible for the whole 1.5m acre reclamation project. The capital for this entity has yet to be determined but has been set at an initial EGP 8bn with the contribution of several government agencies. He expects the procedures of the establishment of the company to be completed by the beginning of next week.

He further noted that the company will have the right to borrow to finance infrastructure, which will ease the burden on the state budget. Ismail said all legislation that has been passed over the past period will be subject to review by the upcoming parliament.

The Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia will visit Egypt on Tuesday to discuss methods of cooperation to invest in a number of different economic sectors including fields of electrical sharing systems, culture, housing, and financial , such as double taxation and customs.

Regarding the ruling against the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) in favour of the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC), Ismail said it is a commercial arbitration case between companies and the government is not a party to the case. He said only the companies have the right to appeal.

Regarding the reshuffling of governors, Ismail said it is still under discussion with the Minister of Local Development and all concerned government agencies and that it is likely to take place before the next parliament is in session.

Negotiations on the Renaissance Dam (GERD) are still ongoing but are very difficult but Egypt will not relinquish its water rights.

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