Brotherhood begins work on ‘parallel’ state budget

Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed has said that the ministry has yet to prepare a draft state budget for next fiscal year (2012-2013), while government sources expected the current budget would be extended until the election of a new president.

The fiscal year begins in Egypt on the first of July.

Meanwhile, the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood that enjoys a parliamentary majority, began to prepare a parallel budget that aims to "achieve justice" and provide funding for the deficit and the public debt.

“This is nonsense,” said Amir Rizk, former official of the Finance Ministry. “They do not know the closing statement of account.”

The constitution obligates the government to present a draft budget to Parliament by mid-April at the latest.

Informed ministry sources said there were enormous challenges facing the new budget, notably the rising deficit that has exceeded LE140 billion.

Mohamed Gouda, member of the FJP Economic Committee, said the parallel budget helps the Brotherhood MPs assess whether the government’s draft budget meets the directives of the party in managing the transitional period.

“The two sides will have to negotiate if there are discrepancies,” he said, adding that the parallel budget increases spending on education, social welfare, investment, wages and pensions.

“It also aims to revitalize tax revenues, raise the efficiency of state institutions and partially control subsidies,” he said, pointing out that this needs a strong government that represents the majority of the community.

This article is an edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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