Friday,24 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1427, (24 - 30 January 2019)
Friday,24 May, 2019
Issue 1427, (24 - 30 January 2019)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Budget deficit down

EGYPT’s budget deficit fell 3.6 per cent of GDP in the first half of fiscal year 2018/2019, down from 4.2 per cent in the same period last year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said during a meeting with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi this week.

Egypt’s primary budget, which reflects the country’s expenses and revenues excluding interest on debt payments, also achieved a surplus of LE20.8 billion during the first half of the fiscal year.

In a press statement, Maait described the figures as good results, saying that the surplus represents 0.4 per cent of GDP, compared to a deficit of 0.3 per cent in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Maait said the positive figures were due partly to the government’s policy of encouraging investments in infrastructure to attract private sector business activity to all vital economic sectors.

Egypt targets a budget deficit of 8.4 per cent for the 2018/2019 current fiscal year.

In the 2017/2018 fiscal year, Egypt’s budget deficit recorded 9.8 per cent of GDP, down from 10.9 per cent in the previous fiscal year, the lowest level below the 10 per cent benchmark in six years.

It was also the first time in 15 years for the final state budget account to record a primary surplus of LE4.4 billion.

Drills in Bahrain

EGYPTIAN Air Force and Navy teams arrived in Bahrain on Monday to take part in the Hamad-3 joint military exercises. The three-day games were staged out of Salman Naval Base and the Eissa Air Base in Bahrain.

Hamad-3, one of the most important joint military manoeuvres in the Gulf, aims to strengthen the interoperability between participating forces, train them in the joint management of diverse naval and aerial combat activities, and hone their combat skills through simulated combat scenarios.

The Egyptian-Bahraini drills also promote the exchange and transfer of training expertise and contribute to enhancing military cooperation between the two countries.

Shoukri in Beirut tripartite

FOREIGN Minister Sameh Shoukri held a tripartite meeting with his Jordanian and Iraqi counterparts Ayman Safadi and Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim in Beirut on the sidelines of the fourth Arab socio-economic summit.

The meeting discussed boosting cooperation between the three countries in various fields, and the latest regional developments, reinforcing efforts to fighting terrorism, as well as strengthening Arab national security.

The ministers agreed to continue meetings and consultations aimed at achieving regional stability.

In solidarity with the martyrs

THE MINISTRY of Higher Education has issued Ministerial Decree 16/2018 according to which universities will be entitled to collect LE10 from every student to be deposited in the Terrorism Martyrs and their Families Fund. The decree comes into force starting the coming academic year. It covers all public and private universities and educational institutions.

According to the decree, students are to pay the amount only once. A ministerial press statement said Article 8 of the decree stipulates that the amount collected is to serve social needs of the families of martyrs lost to terrorism, out of societal solidarity.

The money is considered participation by youths and their families to honour families of martyrs as well as those lost and harmed in military operations, to combat terrorism.

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