Sunday, January 07, 2007

More on the finance committee report

Al Ghad today has some more details on the finance committee report on the 2007 budget, which I wrote about yesterday. The most interesting point is that most of the committee members are conditioning their approval of the budget on the government's implementation of a public sector pay raise. Thus, they are saying that they approve of the report, and not of the budget itself. It will be interesting to see if the committee members and the full parliament insist on this, or they will eventually back down. It seems that their backing down at this stage would be politically problematic, so it will be interesting to watch how this plays out.

The report notes that the government wants to establish at least nine new companies and bureaucracies. These includes a public transportation company, a company for the management and developing tourism sites, a heritage fund, an energy fund, an agricultural hazards fund, a national accreditation board, a national medical rescue board, a higher board for human resource development (that is what universities are for) and an economic and social council. So, as the government tries to avail itself of it’s responsibilities through privatization, the government keeps on growing. The report notes that the percentage of government spending to GDP is about 40%, which is the same as it was ten years ago.

Now, what is sad is that the finance committee recognizes that problematic nature of bureaucratic growth. The budget deficit is growing, public spending is growing and public services are diminishing. If it so bad, why did they approve it? Raising wages should not be the only reason for reflection.


At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Khalaf...I tagged you! Don't groan, tell us: "Five Things You Don't Know About Me".


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