An Egyptian lawmaker has revealed that the first review by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of Egypt’s economic reform program, initially scheduled for September, has been postponed for the second time.
It is now anticipated to take place in the first quarter of 2024.
“The initial review by IMF experts this month will not proceed due to the government’s delay in fulfilling some of the commitments it made with the IMF under the recent agreement,” said Yasser Omar, the Deputy Chairman of the parliamentary Planning and Budget Committee.
In December 2022, the IMF’s Executive Board approved a $3 billion loan to Egypt under a 46-month agreement. Egypt received the first installment of $347 million in December, with the remaining disbursements contingent on reviews conducted by IMF experts.
However, the implementation of the agreement came to a halt because the IMF has not conducted the first review of the economy, as the government has refrained from taking more stringent steps to adhere to a flexible exchange rate for its national currency.
This reluctance stems from the significant inflation rates and concerns about the economic and social repercussions such a decision might have on citizens.
Omar stated that the government would be able to fulfill all of its commitments to the IMF, including adhering to a flexible exchange rate for the Egyptian pound against the dollar, in light of the steps it is taking and the acceleration of the privatization program.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly announced a list of 32 companies and banks that the government intends to offer to investors over the course of the year.
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait stated that Egypt aims to achieve $10 billion in net foreign direct investment during the current fiscal year, compared to $8.6 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Omar also noted that he expects the IMF review to be conducted in the first quarter of 2024 at which point the economy should be better equipped to handle a new floatation of the pound.
Source : AsharqAl-Awsat