Egypt parliament snubs economy plan, hampers IMF path

By REUTERS
April 24, 2012 21:52

 
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CAIRO - Egypt's parliament overwhelmingly rejected the army-appointed cabinet's plan to cut state spending on Tuesday, complicating the government's efforts to secure IMF help to fight a balance of payments crisis.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants the backing of Egyptian political forces for the government's economic reform plan before it signs off on an emergency loan. Egypt has been hamstrung with economic troubles since a popular uprising in January last year.

Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri's government presented the Islamist-dominated parliament with the plan on February 26 and it has been discussed over ten sessions.

Only six out of 365 lawmakers who cast their votes approved of the plan, which was criticzed as vague and incoherent. Some said the program failed to improve public security, reduce poverty or provide the revenue to raise wages.

Assembly speaker Saad al-Katatni said the "government must submit its resignation to the head of state."

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