Egypt to sell land to expats, cut budget deficit

March 20, 2012 16:51

CAIRO - Egypt will launch a scheme on Saturday to reduce its budget deficit by selling plots of land near Cairo to Egyptians living abroad, the housing minister said on Tuesday, with the aim of raising $15 billion over four years.

The deficit has widened since last year's popular uprising hammered the economy, cut tax revenue and led to demands for higher salaries and more benefits.The government has forecast a budget deficit of 144 billion Egyptian pounds ($23.9 billion) in the fiscal year to June 30, about 8.7 percent of gross domestic product.

Housing Minister Fathi Abdelaziz el-Baradei told reporters the government planned to offer an initial 8,000 plots in at least two satellite cities near Cairo via a website, and said Egyptians living abroad would be able to reserve the plots as of Saturday.

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