Egyptian politician and representative of the Free Egyptians Party at the country’s National Dialogue, Mohamed Khalil Badra, proposed selling state-owned assets such as the Al-Ahly and Zamalek sporting clubs or the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr to pay off Egypt’s debts, the Al Shorouk newspaper reported.
According to Badra, controlling the rise in debt rates requires including all public funds and economic bodies within the state budget – which number more than 7,000 funds and bodies – thereby increasing revenues and reducing the budget deficit.
Tax revenues must be increased through achieving financial inclusion, reducing cash transactions, and setting a ceiling on public debt similar to developed countries, he said.
Egypt in debt
The Chairman of the Planning and Budget Committee of the Egyptian House of Representatives, Fakhry al-Feki, warned of the high rate of external debt to the GDP, which has reached 43 percent up from 35 percent.
The safe rate of external debt ranges between 30 percent and 40 percent, he said.
Feki proposed several recommendations to solve the external debt crisis.
The most important of these are addressing exchange rate and the budget deficit, reducing public debt and spending, reconsidering the tax system, setting spending limits and rationalizing it as the situation in general needs to be addressed through a proactive strategy.
Egypt’s domestic debt rose by eight percent in the first quarter of 2023 to LE6.86 trillion (US$222.18 billion), compared to LE6.352 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.
Egypt’s external debt also rose to $165.361 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 1.5 percent, compared to $162.928 billion in the last quarter of 2022.