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Egypt increases state pay and pension to ease economic burden

NurPhoto/Emmanuele Contin
"I look forward to coordinating with Brics to achieve its goals in supporting economic cooperation," says President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has announced a package of measures, including state wage and pension increases, aimed at easing economic pressures, hours after a hike in gasoline prices came into effect.

The decisions include increasing civil servants’ monthly salaries starting from April by a minimum of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($33), and raising the minimum monthly wage for state workers of different grades to between 3,500 pounds and 7,000 pounds.

Egypt’s economy has come under severe pressure over the past year, with the currency weakening sharply, foreign currency supplies drying up and inflation accelerating.

Annual headline inflation soared above 25 percent in January, according to official data, and price rises for some basic food items have been much sharper.

Petrol prices rose on Thursday as part of quarterly reviews meant to keep them in line with global prices.

The new measures also provide for a 15 percent increase in pensions, and increasing the tax exemption allowance on annual income to 30,000 pounds from 24,000 pounds.

During a tour to the southern region of Minya, Sisi also announced 25 percent increases to social safety net cash payments under the government’s Takaful and Karama programme. Monthly payments for the programme’s beneficiaries vary between 60 pounds to 450 pounds.