Thursday, 20 August 2015

Statements from Council of Ministers meeting held 20 August 2015

The Cabinet held its weekly meeting on Wednesday. The agenda looked into healthcare and educationsaid Prime Minister Mahlab, a refrain that has cropped up in each of the past three cabinet meetings, but with no concrete outcomes. Cabinet also announced that there Is no turning back from the Civil Service Law, despite rumors to the contrary and promises by Mahlab that he will take protestors’ request under consideration. Key decisions taken yesterday included signing-off on a presidential decree forming the “General Authority for the North-West Gulf of Suez Economic Zone” (formerly General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone). The agency would own, administer and manage development in and around the New Suez Canal. Other decisions are below. All four Cabinet releases on yesterday’s meeting are here for your reading pleasure (pdf download, Arabic).

Economy Policy:

  • Approved raising the limits on income tax exemptions to EGP 6,500 from EGP 5,000 for employees of the formal economy, whether public or private sector (Read in Arabic)
  • Approving a EUR 1.5 bn long-term maintenance contract awarded to Siemens by the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company for the three power plants (Read in Arabic)
  • Approving the Agriculture Ministry’s request authorize legal action to evict squatters from unlawfully occupied land zoned for intensive agricultural use (Read in Arabic)
  • Allowing the governorates of Ismailia and Port Said to issue tenders for organic waste management projects (Read in Arabic)
  • The Ministers of Housing, Investment, Industry and the government of Damietta signed protocols which will establish a furniture manufacturing industrial zone (Read in Arabic)
  • Granting lands across multiple governorates for infrastructure development projects.

Foreign Policy:

  • Ratifying the economic cooperation agreement with Uruguay signed on 2 July, which facilitates trade in multiple sectors and knowledge transfer (Read in Arabic)

Social Policy:

  • Approving the drafting of law that would re-organize the National Women’s Council, granting it a wider scope to influence policy related to women’s issues (Read in Arabic)
  • Signed off on the president’s decision to establish and develop a technical university (Read in Arabic)

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