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Wednesday, 28 April 2021

On the dole

Spending to tackle the fallout from covid-19 has exceeded the EGP 100 bn earmarked for a government stimulus package announced at the onset of the pandemic, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Al Arabiya.

Where did we spend it? The bill has so far included:

  • EGP 22 bn for healthcare
  • EGP 10 bn in breaks on energy costs for factories
  • EGP 10 bn for the tourism and hospitality industry
  • EGP 8 bn in monthly stipends to day laborers, Maait said.

The government also had to ramp up spending on vaccine purchases in recent months, Maait added.

The government had forked out EGP 63 bn by early June, spending the sum on staple commodities, industry support, and healthcare. Maait told Al Arabiya that that figure had gone up to EGP 90 bn by the end of the last fiscal year on 30 June.

Background: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had allocated the EGP 100 bn stimulus and bailout package, which amounted to nearly 2% of GDP, in late March to insulate the economy from the impact of covid-19 outbreak.

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