(Adds budget allocation for petroleum products, budget context
in paragraphs 6-7)
CAIRO, March 19 Egyptian Finance Minister Amr El
Garhy said on Sunday that the 2017-18 government budget would
assume an exchange rate of 16 Egyptian pounds per dollar.
The rate he cited would represent a strengthening of the
pound, which is currently at 18.12 to the dollar.
Speaking to local television channel CBC, Garhy also said
foreigners had purchased treasury bills and bonds worth $3.5
billion since Egypt floated the pound in November, and it was
aiming for a total of $10 billion in foreign investment in
treasuries by the end of 2017.
Garhy said he is aiming for a growth rate of 4.8 percent in
the budget, which will be presented to parliament before March
31. Growth for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which ends in June, will
be around 3.8 to 4 percent, he said.
He said the budget has a target deficit of 9.25 percent.
The budget would see 140 billion Egyptian pounds ($7.73
billion) allocated for petroleum products, he said.
The 2017-18 budget prepared by the Finance Ministry must
first be approved by the cabinet before being sent to
parliament, which can either approve it or send it back to the
government. If parliament approves the budget it will be signed
into law by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
($1 = 18.1200 Egyptian pounds)
(Reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein;
Editing by Mark Trevelyan)