25 September 2023

EGYPT: PS to be cut by a third

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The Egyptian Government has launched a 10-year plan to reduce the country’s Public Service by more than one-third.

The proposal is in line with structural reforms requested by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Government said the reforms were necessary to speed up work in its Departments and would reflect positively on Egypt’s ability to attract foreign investments and create jobs.

Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform, Hala al-Saeed (pictured) said the brutal fact was there was no need for so many Government employees.

“The presence of too many workers in the Civil Service sector impedes, not accelerates, work,” Ms al-Saeed said.

She pointed out that the Government had been the largest employer in Egypt for decades.

“Most university and high school graduates have been assured employment in Government and now about 5.6 million Egyptians work for the Government sector — a ratio of one Civil Servant to every 17.8 citizens,” Ms al-Saeed said.

She said the size of the public sector was very costly.

“Together with foreign debt services, expenditure on the public sector leaves little money for health, education and development plans,” Ms al-Saeed said.

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has long complained about the heavy burden of Public Service salaries.

In May, Mr al-Sisi said work done by the 5.6 million PS employees could be performed by less than 20 per cent of that number.

He suggested the Government cancel an expected pay rise for the Public Service and channel the money into the construction of 250,000 school classrooms to reduce the student–teacher ratio.

Ms al-Saeed said the current plan to reduce the number of PS workers by 38 per cent over a decade would be achieved with hundreds of thousands of public sector workers reaching the retirement age of 60 and a freeze on public sector hiring.

Cairo, 20 November 2018

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