Cairo: The Egyptian parliament approved on Sunday new tax and fee hikes on a number of imported goods and entertainment activities to boost government revenues amid strained public finance.
The parliament approved amendments to three laws that will impose an additional one-percent stamp tax on life insurance premiums, two percent on physical injury insurance premiums, and 11 percent on land, river, maritime, and air transport insurance premiums, the state-run Ahram Online news website reported.
An additional three-percent tax will also be imposed on all goods purchased from duty-free shops that exceed 5 US dollars, with a minimum tax of 1.5 dollars.
Foreign films in cinemas, operas, and ballet shows as well as circus events will also be subject to a new five-percent tax. In addition, there will be another three-percent tax on food and beverages at these locations. The amendments also stipulate a new 10-percent tax on public parties in sporting and social clubs.
"The new taxes will be imposed on luxury and non-essential goods only and will not impact low-income citizens," Egyptian Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait told parliament members.
The minister revealed that the new package is expected to generate 5 billion Egyptian pounds (160 million US dollars) in revenues, an amount necessary to help narrow the widening budget deficit because of increasing public expenditure.
Maait noted the generated revenues will be used to cover part of the money allocated to social safety programs and Takaful and Karama pensions, which will cost 270 billion pounds, and provide fuel and bread subsidies, which will also cost 150 billion pounds, in the new fiscal year of 2023-2024.
Meanwhile, a new 10-percent tariff has been imposed on a number of imported luxury goods, according to Ahram Online.