It’s going to be a busy day in the House of Representatives today, with hearings on the VAT and relations with Italy and voting set to resume on both the civil service and labour unions acts:
Garhy to brief House on VAT: Finance Minister Amr El Garhy is expected to appear today before the House Planning and Budget Committee to discuss the latest draft of the value-added tax legislation, which included changes to the exemptions list. (More on that in the Speed Round.)
House to probe relations with Italy: Senior government officials including representatives from the interior and foreign ministries, intelligence and the prosecutor’s office will appear before a House committee today to discuss relations with Italy and the investigation into the killing of Italian grad student Giulio Regeni.
The House of Representatives’ vote on the Civil Service Act will resume today after it passed 12 articles on Sunday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Parliament has been discussing and voting on the watered-down draft that was amended by the House Manpower Committee, including the amendment setting annual raises at 7%, which was contested by the government, Al Ahram reports. Other amendments set out by the committee include provisions for the hiring of temporary workers, setting maternity and paternity leave, and ensuring no currently employed bureaucrat will be fired or see his income reduced, which could defeat the whole purpose of civil service reform. As is typical of the House, the vote was not completed as the House lost quorum. Voting will resume today.
Passage of the Labor Unions Act also lost momentum yesterday when the House lost quorum. The act sets new regulations for union elections that could affect unions such as the Press and Doctors’ syndicates. This is fourth time that Parliament failed to complete a vote on the law because of MPs being absent, Youm7 reports.
The House did manage, however, to vote in favor of permanently ending daylight savings, after its initial vote was approved by the Egyptian Council of State (Maglis El Dowla).
On the international scene: More than 90 of the largest companies in America could roil global markets this week as they report what is expected to be the fourth straight quarter of declining profits, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Financial Times, meanwhile, says it’s looking forward to results from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley after their “first-quarter meltdown” and following strong results from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup.