Finance minister predicts 11-12% budget deficit

Finance Minister Hany Qadry Damian raised predictions for the budget deficit during the fiscal year 2013-2014 to 11-12 percent.
This prediction is an increase from his predecessor’s speculations of a 10 percent deficit, which had been set after the government approved a minimum for wages.
Qadry stated his predictions during a recent government meeting on how the rate can be achieved amid surging protests and called for the application of minimum wage and modest local and foreign investments.
A senior official source criticized Damian for his expansionary financial policies, which represented a change from his past austere, rationalistic approach.
Amir Rizq, a former head of the ministry’s public debt department, said, however, that the minister’s predicted 12 percent deficit is exaggerated, stressing that the rate will hover around 10 percent.
During the July-January period in the fiscal year 2013-2014, the budget deficit was nearly LE19.597 billion, down from LE119.825 billion during the same period of the preceding year.
Momtaz al-Saeed, a former finance minister, said the government should focus on its budget for investment expenditure, set up major, national development projects and abstain from financing wage raises from financial resources created by activity or foreign aid.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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