Budget deficit to come at 9.4% of GDP this fiscal year -Maait
The budget deficit for the current fiscal year 2017-18 is expected to come in at 9.4% of GDP, Vice Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait told Reuters. The updated projection is over the initial rate of 9% and Maait attributes it to the increase in global oil prices and high local interest rates.
And speaking of the budget, Egypt was ranked 65th out of 115 countries in the bi-annual International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey, which ranks countries for the transparency of their budget. Egypt was ranked 89th out 102 countries in the last Open Budget Survey which came out in 2015. The jump in rankings comes as Egypt improved its overall budget transparency points to 41 out of 100, up from 16 points in 2015. According to the report, since 2015, Egypt has increased the availability of budget information by publishing the budget proposal online in a timely manner, publishing the pre-budget statement and the citizens budget. Egypt has also increased the information provided in the Enacted Budget. The report notes that Egypt fell short in the Citizen Participation category, scoring a mere 11 points. Egypt’s overall score puts it closer to the global average of 43, and is significantly higher than the MENA regional average of 18. “This is considered the first explicit improvement since 2012,” noted Finance Minister Amr El Garhy.