Egypt new capital project’s budget separate from state’s, says minister

Photo: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images

 

Egypt’s finance ministry yesterday denied recent reports, which claimed that the government had allocated part of the state’s budget to finance the country’s New Administrative Capital project.

In an official statement, the ministry said that the rumours, which have gone viral on social media, were “baseless.”

“The New Administrative Capital project has an independent budget separate from the state’s general budget,” the ministry stressed.

The mega project, the statement explained, is being funded through land sales to investors.

“All the circulated rumours on the matter aimed at provoking anger among Egyptians,” the ministry warned, calling on local media outlets “to be cautious ahead publishing news that may lead to confusion among the public.”

Egyptian social media activists recently denounced the country’s government for “increasing the state’s financial burdens by dedicating part of its budget to the New Administrative Capital project.”

The mega project, which was initiated by the incumbent president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, was said to have aimed at moving the government institutions and buildings away from Cairo’s congestion, deal with the country’s rapid population growth rate and improve the nation’s infrastructure.

In November, the project’s official spokesperson, Khaled El-Hosseiny, said that 45 per cent of the project’s first phase, which covers to 40,000 acres, was completed. He added that the first phase would include the construction of the tallest building in Africa.

The 714 square kilometres-wide new capital will be home to a government district of 29 ministries and other state institutions, including the cabinet and parliament buildings.

Since the project’s launch, Egyptians has been criticising the move, saying that the government was urging its citizens “to relocate to the desert.”

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