Minister: Government planning tax reforms

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf al-Araby said the government will reform the tax system in Egypt to fix the current defect, adding that tax revenues represent no more than 15 percent of the gross domestic product despite being a tool for income redistribution.
In a press conference, Araby said the finance minister is mulling reforms on the tax system through meetings with the economic group.
The current subsidy for energy, according to Araby, is unsustainable and should be reconsidered. He indicated that the subsidy reached LE140 billion in July, most of which was directed to the rich, and should not be continued.
The National Council for Wages, according to Araby, is meant to deal with private sector wages only. Minimum wages issues in government and public enterprise sectors are being mulled within the government, not the council, Araby said. 
Regarding minimum wage in the private sector, the minister emphasized that understanding between the council members, including government workers, workers' representatives and businessmen, was crucial to setting the minimum wages. "An agreement was almost reached, but leaders from the Egyptian Trade Union Federation were changed, which required more discussions with the new leaders," he added.
"It has been agreed with the manpower minister to intensify meetings to reach a clear agreement," he said, expecting it to be declared soon.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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