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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Parliament subcommittee to study fixed power prices for lowest consumption brackets, education could get larger budget in FY2018-19

BUDGET WATCH- Parliament subcommittee to study fixed power prices for lowest consumption brackets: Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker has reportedly agreed with Parliament’s Budgeting Committee to form a subcommittee to study a proposal to leave power prices unchanged for the lowest consumption tiers in the next fiscal year, MP Yasser Omar tells Al Mal. MPs are suggesting that the ministry direct all proceeds from an upcoming increase to electricity bills in FY2018-19 towards subsidizing power for the lowest brackets, according to Omar, who says that the subcommittee will begin its work next week. Shaker had previously rejected the proposal, insisting that the 47% cut in electricity subsidies slated for July would impact all users, with bills rising by 30% for the lowest consumption bracket and 45% for the highest. Prices of power for industry are also expected to increase at the start of the new fiscal year.

Education could get larger budget? Meanwhile, a request to increase the earmark for education in next year’s budget has been tabled for discussion, Education Minister Tarek Shawky said in a statement yesterday after meeting with MPs, according to Al Shorouk. MPs had earlier this week announced plans to make an official request to the government to increase the amounts allocated to education and health in FY2018-19, particularly as the K-12 educational reform program and new Universal Healthcare Act launch this year. Leaked documents had said that the budget for healthcare would increase 12.5% y-o-y to EGP 61.81 bn in FY2018-19, while spending on education would grow 8% to EGP 115.66 bn.

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