Cairo: The Egyptian Parliament has approved new tax and fee hikes on a number of imported goods and entertainment activities to boost government revenues amid strained public finance.
On Sunday, Parliament approved amendments to three laws that will impose an additional 1 per cent stamp tax on life insurance premiums, 2 per cent on physical injury insurance premiums, and 11 per cent on land, river, maritime, and air transport insurance premiums, Xinhua news agency quoted state-run Ahram Online as saying in a report.
An additional 3 per cent tax will also be imposed on all goods purchased from duty-free shops that exceed $5, with a minimum tax of $1.5.
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 3 per cent tax on food and beverages at these locations. The amendments also stipulate a new 10 per cent 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,” Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait told parliament members.
The Minister revealed that the new package is expected to generate 5 billion Egyptian pounds ($160) 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 Egyptian pounds, and provide fuel and bread subsidies, which will also cost 150 billion Egyptian pounds, in the new fiscal year of 2023-2024.
Meanwhile, a new 10 per cent tariff has been imposed on a number of imported luxury goods, according to Ahram Online.