Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has reviewed the financial performance indicators from during the first half (1H) of fiscal year (FY) 2021/22, as well as the preliminary estimates for the current FY.
During a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the minister said the general budget achieved an initial surplus of EGP 3.2bn in 1H 2021/22, explaining that despite the negative repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on economic activity, the Ministry of Finance provided all the needs of the health sector to confront the pandemic, with a value exceeding EGP 56bn.
Government investments also recorded a noticeable increase and paid the dues of the Insurance and Pensions Fund to the treasury, which amounted to EGP 75bn.
Maait explained that revenues achieved a growth of 10.3% on an annual basis from July to December 2021, and tax revenues increased by 15.7%.
On the other hand, the allocations for all expenditure sections increased significantly, as sufficient funding was provided for the implementation of government investments, including the Decent Life Presidential Initiative and the wages and salaries of employees of the budget agencies were increased, in addition to providing sufficient allocations to support items of subsidies and social protection programmes as well as increasing allocations to the health and education sectors.
He added that during the first six months of the current fiscal year, the growth rate of drug purchase allocations amounted to 199% — at EGP 9.2bn — the premiums paid to pension funds by 77%, wages and workers compensation at a rate of 10.4%, and cash subsidies — security pension, Takaful and Karama — by 10.7%.
He added that the growth rate of spending on the health sector during that period amounted to 30.4%, as EGP 56.1bn were allocated to the sector to reward medical staff and provide medical needs and supplies to confront the pandemic, while the growth rate of education spending increased by about 21.1%, as it was allocated EGP 90.9bn for the sector to reward workers and provide the requirements of the educational system.
Furthermore, Maait indicated that the public investment increased to about EGP 82bn in 1H 2021/22, compared to the previous year’s EGP 73bn, representing an annual increase of 12%, while the needs of subsidising food commodities were financed by about EGP 26.9bn.
The minister also reviewed the preliminary estimates of the financial indicators for FY2021/22, explaining that they reduced the budget deficit to 6.9% in light of the actual performance recorded from July to December 2021, pointing out that it is also targeted to return the downward path of the debt ratio of budgetary organs to local output.