Parliamentary attack on the “media budget”: “a fleet of cars and bonuses in the millions and a collective breakfast allowance”


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The House of Representatives Culture, Information and Antiquities Committee rejected all requests of the Ministry of Information, which were submitted by the Ministry in the budget of the Ministry of State for Information for the fiscal year 2020/2021, and approved only the budget submitted by the Ministry of Finance only.

The members of the committee criticized what they described as “misplaced spending”, due to a number of proposals that were introduced by the ministry on the budget, such as financial allocations for consultants, bonuses for experts, the purchase of new cars, and a garage rental for the ministry.

Representatives within the committee insisted on including the rejection of the additional proposals that the Ministry of State attached to the media in the new budget.

Member Jalal Awara, a member of the committee, criticized what he considered “extravagance” in the ministry’s requests, saying that it is estimated in millions, explaining that the ministry requested the provision of a new fleet of cars, even though it has a fleet of cars, along with the ministry’s request for a budget for the items of mass breakfast parties for workers in the ministry next Ramadan. Sports expenses and sports activities, even though the Ministry has only 68 employees.

“Awara”, the representative of the Ministry of Information at the meeting, asked about a request to obtain a fleet of cars, saying, “Is the minister moving with what moment? Do you ride a public transport, for example? “There is no fleet of cars in the ministry.”

Awara added, in statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm after the committee’s meeting, that the committee insisted on rejecting all requests of the Ministry of Information, and only approved the budget presented by the Ministry of Finance, commenting on the ministry’s requests, saying: “The Swiss Ministry of Information does not work like that.”

As for Representative Jalila Othman, she criticized a clause in the Ministry of Information’s proposals stipulating allocating 100 thousand pounds for renting a garage to the ministry, pointing out that the ministry was not satisfied with buying a fleet of cars but wanted to increase the burden of renting a garage.

And she continued, “It is the villa of the long, broad ministry, de Mevihash Garage … the garden is doing its job.”

Representative Osama Sharshar confirmed his refusal to have a provision in the Ministry of Information’s proposals allowing the allocation of 8 million pounds for the purchase of a fleet of cars, stressing that such proposals do not take into account the state of austerity experienced by the country because of Corona.

Deputy Osama Sharshar said that the budget of the State Ministry of Information is one of the most dangerous budgets because it relates to a new ministry, asking: The ministry has set up a million and a half bonuses, and at the same time it has proposed increasing it to 3 million pounds, continuing: «If this is a budget of courtesies, then it is a disaster».

The committee’s deputy, Deputy Muhammad Shaban, who chaired the meeting, intervened, saying: “There is no courtesy and no room for skepticism. You have the right to criticize the budget, but without doubting it.”

Deputy Osama Sharshar continued his speech, describing the budget of the Ministry of Information as “a miserable budget.”

The representative of the Ministry of Finance commented on the criticisms of the deputies, stressing that the proposals were not received by the ministry, and that no sums are allocated except after ensuring that each pound will be spent in the right place.

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