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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Education Ministry wants to squeeze state coffers for an additional EGP 11 bn in FY2019-20

BUDGET WATCH- Let the horse-trading begin: The Education Ministry wants an additional EGP 11 bn in FY2019-20 budget. The annual public jockeying to increase the government’s budgetary earmarks for education has begun, with the Education Ministry asking the Finance Ministry for an additional EGP 11 bn, House Planning and Budgeting Committee Chair Yasser Omar tells the local press. The additional allocation would bring the ministry’s budget to EGP 110 bn. The Finance Ministry has demurred, the domestic press adds, leaving the heroes from the House of Representatives to mediate between the two ministries. The rather breathless piece cites an unnamed committee member as saying the House will back the Education Ministry.

On a less sensationalist note: It’s not entirely clear whether the current budget allocation meets the constitutional requirement for education spending. The constitution requires the government to spend the equivalent of 7% of GDP on education and 3% on healthcare. A government source had previously told Enterprise that the draft FY2019-20 state budget should meet the constitutionally mandated minimums. According to Omar, the spending requirements for next fiscal year are calculated based on the current fiscal year’s GDP, making the current allocations constitutionally sound. However, the unnamed committee member claims that the current earmark falls short at the equivalent of 2.6% of GDP.

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