By Islam Zayed
Momtaz Said, Minister of Finance in the current caretaker government, has been working since yesterday to complete all requests made by government agencies regarding allocations and expenditures before incoming Prime Minister, Dr.HeshamKandil, appoints a new Finance Minister.
According to official sources within the Ministry of Finance, Said held a meeting with AymanGohar, head of the Sector of Minister’s Office, in order to compile a report for the incoming Minister outlining the Ministry’s current projects. The report will include a relatively large amount of information, particularly pertaining to the new fiscal year.
The report includes a set of tax code reforms prepared by the heads of Egypt’s various tax authorities. The reforms encompass plans to phase in a value added tax for product sales and to change make the income tax system more just. The reforms also include issuing a new unified customs law and changes to real estate taxes whereby limits are placed onsmall business and industry exemptions and personal residence receives an exemption.
The report also includes details of joint ventures between the Ministry of Finance and the private sector. The plans include ten large service projects.
In addition the report states that negotiations with foreign banks for new financing are a priority. It includes details of talks between the Egyptian government, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as details of talks with Saudi Arabian financiers, the African Development Fund, and the ABC Islamic Bank.
The new Minister will also receive information on the Ministry’s plans to gradually rationalize subsidies, particularly for energy. The process will include more efficient monitoring mechanisms, changes to pricing schemes, and amendments to how capital is managed in the petroleum sector. The Ministry also plans to reduce the budget deficit to bring Egypt in line with international norms.