A Peaceful Resistance to Freedom and Democracy

April 6 Youth Present Report to the Prime Minister Concerning the National Budget

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The April 6 movement has come up with a set of economic solutions in light of minister of finance, Samir Radwan’s proposed national budget. The April 6 proposal was presented to Prime Minister, Dr. Essam Sharaf and the military council.

Incidentally, medi…a spokesperson, Mohamed Adel stated that these suggestions were made by economists who wish to contribute in combating corruption, and boosting small businesses, which in turn would increase Egyptian export. The proposition also aims at increasing minimum wage, while decreasing taxes on craftsmen. Mohamed Adel added that it also includes opinions on the national budget as well as some alternate solutions to the problems facing our economy.

These are the main points drafted by the April 6 youth:

*We must have a social vision about the goals we strive to achieve through the national budget, namely social justice.

*The national budget must be made public, including all public facilities and special funds with utmost transparency and clarity in a way that is understandable to the public.

*Mobilizing all local resources before taking any national or international loans, for this would be a grave mistake that would put Egypt deep in debt with interest rates up to 30% of the state resources and 48% of the tax revenue.

*Decreeing a law that adds the special funds to the national budget.

*Reconsidering the energy prices imposed on suppliers since they are sold to them with subsidised prices, whereas they resell it to the public according to the international prices. This in turn would increase state resources, while enforcing strict monitoring mechanisms on the suppliers who are making staggering revenues.

*Revaluating taxes in order to ensure a fair distribution of the tax burden, for it is inconceivable that all public and private companies comprise only 16% of tax revenue, while the average citizen contributes with 56%, and the Suez Canal and Petroleum combined bring in another 28%.

* Adding a new tax bracket for entities that yield 100 million dollars and another for those over 250 million, and a third for people or companies earning more than 500 million pounds.

*Enforcing a ½% tax on share trading in the stock market, under the condition that it be deducted at the source.

*Restoring the ministry of provisions and enabling it to monitor the market in terms of mechanism, quality of goods and services, and fairness in price.

*Re-establishing the consumer protection agency and keeping its board members exclusive to consumers, in lieu with the businessmen organizations. Furthermore, all businessmen and NDP members should be excluded from this agency to ensure its autonomy, so that it may serve the consumer best.

*Issuing a law that protects consumers as well as inhibits monopolies in order to ensure fair prices for farmers and small businesses.

*Modifying laws that protect free competition, while confiscating all profit earned through monopolies, and giving the culprits a prison sentence, while sparing the person reporting the indiscretion from any punitive charges.

*Strict monitoring on all tax evasions and pursuing all tax evaders, such as middlemen, merchants, brokers and craftsmen.

*Strict monitoring on customs evasion, especially in the free zones, the temporary grace period system, as well as the drawback system. Moreover, all transactions made in the last six years should be reviewed, since there was great speculation of many indiscretions committed in that period which in turn meant millions of pounds lost.

*Increasing spending on health and education, in lieu with the specifications recommended by the U.N. aimed at combating ignorance, and poverty. For it is unacceptable that the money spent on health comprises only 1.6% from the GDP, while it is only 3.5% on education.

*Restructuring the wages system by enforcing both a minimum and maximum wage so as to decrease the state burden, while monitoring the market for any unwarranted price increases.

Report prepared by Mr Reda Eissa

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