The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has dispatched a cable, of which Mada Masr obtained a copy, to all the Egyptian diplomatic missions aboard. The cable said that the August salary will be postponed as “the payroll has not been signed,”reported Mada Masr.
The cable, signed by Emad Samir, the Director General of the Foreign Ministry’s Payroll Department, did not say when the postponed salaries will be issued, but it only told the employees in Egyptian embassies and consulates abroad to defer payments “until we provide you with salary disbursement mechanisms”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently studying an amendment of the salary payment mechanism for diplomats and employees working in the Egyptian missions abroad. The amendment if ratified will deduce half of the salary and will hold it to be paid later in Egyptian pounds when the mission ends, according to a source in state of anonymity.
Egypt suffers hard currency shortage and pressure on the foreign reserves as a result of the withdrawal in tourism revenues, Suez Canal revenues, decline in foreign investments, and an increase in imports compared to exports.
As a result, the Egyptian government took some measures to face the hard currency shortage crisis such as the increase in the interests rate, the devaluation of the Egyptian currency, closing unlicensed currency exchange bureaus and imposing harsh penalties on foreign currency trade.
In fact, the number of Egypt’s diplomatic and consulate missions is 162 missions employing 531 diplomats as well as the administrative assistance staff. According to the Foreign Ministry budget that was discussed by the parliament’s foreign affairs committee last June, the total amount of salaries and compensations reached 2,437,858 in the fiscal year 2016/2017 with a 9.7% increase compared to last year.
According to unofficial estimates, the annual allowances of the diplomatic missions reached 500 million Egyptian pounds. In addition, the parliament’s foreign affairs committee released a report on the Foreign Minstry’s budget stating that the revenues have declined in the new fiscal year due to decreasing the consulate regulatory fees . As a result, the deficit gap that will be paid by the state treasury is 635,073 by 218.2% compared to the current year estimates.