Al- Sherif: Mubarak lays down pillars of modern state
Egypt, Politics, 5/30/2005
Egypt's Speaker of the Shura Council Safwat Al-Sherif said at the beginning of the session for discussing the draft budget and plan of the FY 2005/2006 that President Hosni Mubarak is laying down the pillars of a modern state which is based on participation, political and economic freedoms.
Al-Sherif said that the council is prepared to discuss the presidential elections, political parties and political rights bills especially after the people have given their final word in the referendum.
He said that supporting millions of toilers is the main criterion of the success of any policies which are aimed at achieving social justice and balanced development.
Al-Sherif said that the constitutional amendment is a realistic embodiment of a comprehensive reform. He said that the main aspects of the draft budget and plan reflect first indications of getting out of the bottleneck and heralds a genuine beginning for the Egyptian economy to take off towards new horizons where economic growth rate is expected to reach 7% or more.
He reiterated the fact that President Mubarak since he took over, was keen to maintain support for the limited-income brackets.
He called on the government to put the limited-income categories as the target of any development programme. Meantime, Finance Minister Dr. Youssef Butros Ghali said that growth rate recorded 6% in the FY 2005/2006 and inflation rate was down to 6-7%. He said that the state is keen to observe the social dimension through taking care of the limited income brackets and providing the basic needs of citizens.
He said that the state has provided LE 17.4 billion for financing investment, rationalizing government investments in order to put under control the budget deficit.
He said that the government is also keen to observe the social dimension through assigning LE 97.7 billion in the budget of 2005/2006 for spending on the projects serving the interests of the limited income categories.
He said that the general plan aims at effecting structural changes in the national economy through developing some instruments of the financial policy and categorical amendments in income tax, customs tariffs and sales tax.
The Minister of Finance said that the government has mapped out a new bill for collecting the government accounts adding that the bill will save nearly LE 60 billion which will be used for financing the budget deficit.
The Shura Council's committee stressed the importance of increasing investments in order to reach an economic growth rate of 6% by the end of the year 2005/2006.
The committee stressed the importance of enhancing competitiveness of industrial activity through the use of local inputs in industrial production.
Speaker of the Shura Council Safwat Al-Sherif said that he has invited Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif to give a statement before the Shura Council in order to explain the goals of the new budget.
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