CAIRO Oct 31 An International Monetary Fund
delegation is visiting Egypt this week, the Finance Ministry
said on Thursday, only days after the Central Bank governor
Hisham Ramez was quoted as saying a senior IMF official had
behaved in a "totally unacceptable way".
He had been criticising the manner in which Egypt was
invited to the institution's annual meeting in Washington.
The Finance Ministry said in a statement that it had invited
the IMF delegation to discuss technical aid for a VAT system.
"(The minister) praised the swift response from the fund's
management by sending a high-level technical team as soon as the
government requested it which points to a real desire from the
fund to help Egypt through the current phase," it said.
It was the first IMF visit to Egypt since June when a team
came to discuss a long delayed $4.8 billion IMF loan to Cairo.
The Finance Ministry statement did not mention the stalled
talks on the loan, widely seen as necessary to convince foreign
donors and investors that the economy, hit by political turmoil
since Hosni Mubarak's overthrow in 2011, is on the right track.
Months of talks between President Mohamed Mursi's government
and the IMF failed to produce an agreement over the loan before
the army toppled the freely elected Islamist leader on July 3.
Since then the army-backed interim government, promised more
than $12 billion in aid from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates to avert a balance of payments crisis and overcome
fuel shortages, has said it is in no hurry for the IMF loan.