CAIRO Aug 28 Egypt's interim cabinet will
approve a plan on Wednesday to stimulate the economy over the
next nine months, al-Ahram newspaper quoted Planning Minister
Ashraf al-Arabi as saying.
The government has said it plans to avoid raising taxes or
cutting spending to reduce the country's mushrooming budget
deficit, and instead will use aid pledged by Gulf Arab states to
The stimulus plan involves providing additional investments
of at least 10 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.4 billion), al-Arabi
The cabinet expects to remain in power only until elections
early next year.
It plans a series of initiatives to stimulate the economy,
the minister said, including paying arrears the government owes
to contractors, extending natural gas to more residences and
giving support for tourism.
It will also work with the banks on the fate of 4,000
factories that have become insolvent and shut down.
Part of the new investment would be directed in particlular
towards Egypt's impoverished south.
The army-backed interim government, keen to improve
conditions for a deeply polarised population battered by more
than two years of political and economic turmoil, is under
intense pressure to avoid unpopular austerity measures.
Egypt's deficit has jumped since the beginning of 2013 to
nearly half of all government spending.
After Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was deposed by the
army last month, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab
Emirates promised Egypt a total of $12 billion in loans, grants
and fuel shipments. Of that, $5 billion has already arrived.