Egypt’s cabinet on 26 March passed a draft budget for the 2020-21 financial year beginning 1 July. This aims to reduce the deficit to 6.3% of GDP versus a forecast 7.6% for the current year. But with Covid-19 impacting most if not all industries, the budget could yet be drastically changed.

Cairo had until recently forecast growth of around 6% for 2020, almost double the IMF’s 3.3% figure; Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed conceded last week that growth of 3.5% is more realistic. Numbers released for the draft budget, which still require parliamentary and presidential approval, were scarce but did give overall revenue and spending figures. (CONTINUED - 737 WORDS)