Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said on Saturday that minimum and maximum wage suggestions are going to be presented to the National Council for wages on Tuesday.
The Cabinet said in a statement that reports by the privately-owned Al-Shorouk newspaper that the minimum wage is going to be between EGP 800 and 1,000 are “just suggestions.”
Economic consultant Sherif El-Khoraiby said given the current conditions and rate of inflation, the minimum wage must “not be less than EGP 2,000.”
Back in 2011, one of the first decisions that Kamal Ganzouri took as Prime Minister was to set a minimum wage. After Ganzouri met with the Cabinet of Ministers on 21 December, 2011, the decision was taken: “the Cabinet has approved of setting a maximum wage in the state administrative apparatus which does not exceed the minimum wage by 35 times fold.”
On 28 December, the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces at the time, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi issued a decree which was published in the Official Gazette, one day later and it had “the power of a law.” The decree stated that the maximum income of one employee within a state institution cannot exceed the income of another employee within the same body by more than 35 times fold.
It was to go into effect on 1 January, 2012 but did not.
Al-Khoraiby attributes the fact that it was not applied to a lack of resources. “Where do we get the resources to apply it?” he asked. He added that there is not enough money within the state budget to raise the wages from EGP 600, for example, to EGP 2,000.