Engineer Hazem Omar, a presidential candidate, has unveiled the details of his election program in preparation for the 2024 presidential elections. He has announced plans to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 14% on essential goods such as oil, rice, pasta, meat, legumes, sugar, vegetables, medicine, textiles, and more to lower prices for consumers.
In response to questions from citizens during an interview with Sada El Balad TV Anchor Ahmed Moussa on the "On My Responsibility" talk show program on Sada El Balad channel, Hazem Omar emphasized that the economic crisis is not hidden from anyone, and his goal is to navigate Egypt out of this economic challenge within just three years. He aims to achieve this through comprehensive economic reforms, including increasing agricultural, industrial, and extractive production, optimizing resource utilization, and reducing waste and resource mismanagement.
Hazem Omar highlighted the importance of restructuring the financial system and reducing the budget deficit, which drives borrowing and debt accumulation in subsequent budgets. The proposed solution is to alleviate the 14% VAT on essential goods like oil, rice, pasta, meat, legumes, sugar, vegetables, medicine, and textiles, resulting in lower prices for these products.
He also noted that the increase in VAT would be applied to imported products that are not commonly used by the general public, with a rate of up to 19%. This would mainly affect wealthier individuals and businesses dealing in hard currency, such as hotels, among others. He emphasized that the exchange rate, specifically the value of the dollar, is not the root cause of Egypt's economic challenges.
Hazem Omar stressed the need to boost domestic production through incentives for new technological industries. He mentioned that the state would provide favorable land prices, as low as 4,000 Egyptian pounds per square meter, with streamlined procedures. Regarding investments, he highlighted the importance of prioritizing consumer service investments and productive investments, as well as investments in debt instruments.
In conclusion, Hazem Omar emphasized the importance of supporting farmers to reduce Egypt's import bill. He called on farmers to cultivate products that are currently imported, along with consumer goods, in order to increase the current 13% export ratio.
This economic recovery plan proposed by Hazem Omar aims to address Egypt's economic challenges within a relatively short timeframe, promising reforms and measures to boost domestic production and reduce the burden on consumers.