Welcome, officially, to 2017-18
We officially welcome you to fiscal year 2017-18: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi approved on Thursday the budget for the new fiscal year. Utility prices including water and electricity have already risen since the House of Representatives put its seal of approval on the document about a month ago, and we’ve also seen changes to the food and bread subsidy systems. The hike in water prices should save state coffers some EGP 1 bn, according to the spokesperson for the Water Holding Company. Your VAT counters are now officially set to a 14% baseline rate. You can check the full FY2017-18 budget as published on the Official Gazette here or you can catch a quick refresher on the highlights of the budget here.
Infrastructure development weighs heavily in the budget, with around 60% of all government investments directed towards improving basic infrastructure, Planning Minister Hala El Said said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The plan includes improving the transportation network nationwide and have the transport sector grow by about 5.8% y-o-y to contribute 5% of GDP, El Said added.
The state budget is going digital: The government is making the switch to a digital budget and linking that electronically to state coffers as of today, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told the press on Saturday, Ahram reports. The move marks the first step in the government’s plan to make a full switch to electronic transactions by early 2018, which is expected to help the state keep better track of its spending and reduce overall expenditures by as much as 10%.
Budget confirms timeline for 2018 presidential elections: What’s otherwise a throw-away story from Al Masry Al Youm explains that the budget will finance the government’s preparations for mid-2018 presidential elections.