What we’re tracking this week
The House Planning and Budget Committee is scheduled to begin its discussion of the FY2017-18 state budget later this week. The government’s efforts to hype up social welfare allocations in the budget seem to have hit the right notes with MPs, with Planning and Budget Committee member Yasser Omar saying the budget caters to the needs of low-income citizens, Al Shorouk reports. As we previously noted, subsidies and social benefits will cost state coffers EGP 331 bn, marking a 19% increase from last fiscal year’s allocations. Omar says social welfare spending accounts for some 16% of expenditures in the draft budget.
Parliament is also set to vote on the 10% social welfare raise for bureaucrats who don’t fall under the Civil Service Act, Al Ahram reports. The vote is scheduled for a plenary session on Wednesday. The House is also expected to put controversial amendments to the judicial code up for a final vote on Wednesday.
The House Economics Committee could finalize the draft investment act this week after kicking the ball forward from last week.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to attend part of a 25-27 April youthconference in Ismailia. Organizers have set up a website through which questions can be submitted to the president during his Q&A.
Pope Francis is set to arrive in Cairo on Friday, 28 April for a two-day visit.