Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified a basic salary increase for state employees, and the decision was published in the official state gazette on Saturday.
In the first week of June, former prime minister Sherif Ismail’s cabinet approved the allocation of EGP 60bn to increase the pensions and basic salaries of state employees.
Ismail stated at the time that the decision was based on directives from Al-Sisi to improve the conditions of and lessen burdens on low-income citizens. The EGP 60bn will be allocated from the state treasury.
Newly appointed Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit said in a televised interview on Saturday that the salary increase will cost the state EGP 24bn and that it will be allocated from the state treasury.
He added that the extra allowances will be provided to both employees addressed under the Civil Service Law and those not covered by the law, explaining that the minimum exceptional and periodic bonus would be EGP 265.
Currently, more than 6.5 million Egyptians are registered as state employees.
Moreover, the Egyptian president also issued a decree raising military pensions by 15%, according to the official gazette.
This is not the first decision of its kind, as the Egyptian government regularly provides allowances to governmental employees ahead of any expected price hikes.
Since the pound’s flotation, the government made several decisions to ensure social protection for low-income citizens and people most in need, so that they could cope with the challenges of the economic reform programme.
The decision comes after Egyptian authorities decided to go ahead with hikes to subsidised government-set fuel prices earlier in June, raising petrol and diesel prices by 17-66%.
Since November 2016, fuel subsidies have been cut three times as part of Egypt’s ambitious economic reform programme supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and four times since Al-Sisi took office in mid-2014.
Despite the subsidy cuts, the new budget targets increasing public salary spending to EGP 266bn, up from EGP 240bn in the current budget, and spending on social welfare to EGP 332bn, according to an April cabinet statement.