Interim prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi tasked the country’s economic ministers with preparing the economic roadmap, which will supplement the political roadmap proposed by the army after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.
Ashraf Al-Araby, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said the economic roadmap’s first draft is expected at the end of the month.
A cabinet source said: “the document will spell out ways to help Egypt recover from its current economic crisis, meet the immediate financial needs of the country, identify and promote new investment opportunities and address problems related to unemployment.”
He added that as of now Egypt had received $5bn in aid from Arab countries.
Al-Araby denied that Egypt was on the verge of bankruptcy, saying: “our budget deficit is currently only 10%”, adding that recent reports have estimated that such numbers will total $19.5bn by June 2015, saying that reassessments of deficit rates were being conducted.
He stated that the government’s current economic goals revolved around ensuring social justice, not implementing new taxes, and avoiding placing additional burdens on low income citizens.
He added that the government’s current goal was to stimulate the economy, saying: “we seek to accomplish 3.5% growth over the coming fiscal year, 2% at the lowest, and employ policies aimed at growing, as opposed to shrinking the economy.”
Al-Araby said the government sought to repay EGP 2.5bn in dues owed to contractors before this coming September, bringing in the total number of dues scheduled to be paid by the new government to EGP 6bn. EGP 3bn of these will go towards contractors, with an addition EGP 800m going to economic government bodies and institutions.
He added that foreign debt is $45bn, a level which he described as “safe”, saying that the government is to reassess its comprehensive economic approach and further implement additional development projects. He said the government was seeking to decrease interest rates on loans, which would have a positive effect on available amounts of credit in banks.