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FY17/18 budget to assume exchange rate of EGP16 per dollar

Minister of Finance, Amr El Garhy, said on Sunday that the exchange rate for the FY17/18 budget is still under discussion, and that he expects it to be cEGP16 per dollar – stronger than the current rate of EGP18.12. The budget assumes GDP growth rate of 4.8%, up from an estimated growth of 3.8-4.0% for the FY16/17, he said. The government eyes a budget deficit of 9.25-9.50%, as it allocates EGP140bn (USD7.73bn) for petroleum products. Electricity and fuel subsidies are expected to nearly double in cost, setting the state back cEGP200bn compared to cEGP135bn. The budget, prepared by the Ministry, must first be approved by Cabinet before being sent to Parliament before 31 March, which could either approve it or send it back to government. Once Parliament approves the budget, it will be signed into a law by the President.