Al-Arabi hails IMF talks as 'successful'

Egypt's new Finance Minister outlines economic vision

GMT 15:50 2013 Monday ,07 January

Arab Today, arab today Egypt's new Finance Minister outlines economic vision

Finance Minister Al-Mursi al-Sayed Hegazy (c) has met departmental officials for the first time
Cairo - Akram Ali

Finance Minister Al-Mursi al-Sayed Hegazy (c) has met departmental officials for the first time Egypt's new Finance Minister Al-Mursi al-Sayed Hegazy has outlined his commitment to developing all public financial systems of the state, though a mechanism that enables the ministry to monitor public spending and revenues.
The announcement came during Hegazy's first meeting with Assistant Minister of Finance Hany Kadry, deputy Ayman Goher, ministry leaders and heads of departments and affiliated agencies.
The minister asked all sectors of the ministry to provide detailed and comprehensive reports on their plans for the next phase and the position of the projects carried out, with the aim of monitoring the obstacles they have encountered.
The minister also reviewed the status quo of the different sectors and their achievements in the first half of the year.
Syed Ismail, head of the Institution's budget revealed that some economic sectors and government ministries had a surplus in their budgets in the first half of the current fiscal year.
Atef Malash, head of General budget of the state said that preparing the draft budget for the next fiscal year 2013/2014 will begin this month, and the initial draft is expected to be completed by mid-February.
Lutfi Shendi, chairman of the Government Services Commission explained that the Commission oversees all state purchases to ensure compliance with the law of tenders and bids, noting that it is considering the development of such laws.
He added that the Commission inspects all general stores nationwide and organises auctions for confiscated goods, pointing to the possibility of organising three to four auctions every month.
Head of the Egyptian Tax Authority, Mamdouh Omar said that until last Thursday, the Authority was successful in raising 98.1 billion EGP, compared to 69 billion EGP in the same period of the last fiscal year. He added that in the coming months, there will be an increase in the number of financiers who are willing to pay their taxes.
As for development plans, he pointed out that they want to the application of VAT to replace the sales tax system, and are aiming to provide all tax services completely electronically by 2014.
Mohammed al-Salehawi, head of the Customs Department said that the department is working on automating all its businesses, to ensure tighter control of all ports and limit smuggling.
Hassan Abbas, the president of Real Estate Tax Authority explained that the Authority is paid two types of taxes. Agricultural tax is paid on nearly 7 million acres of land, along with real estate taxes. He added that they are still working under the old laws based on tax returns. The new law, no 196 from 2008 will be applied from next July.
Sami Khalaf, the Finance Minister's adviser on public debt policies said that the Ministry is seeking to develop financing tools, revealing it has already received offers from abroad for funding.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf al-Arabi has confirmed that the Egyptian government's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission currently in Egypt were "successful."
After the round of negotiations on Tuesday, al-Arabi told Arabstoday than an important statement will be issued by the IMF mission in due course.

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