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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Cabinet approves amendments to supply law and consumer protection act, 2013 trade facilitation agreement, and others in weekly meeting

WEEKLY CABINET ROUNDUP: The Ismail cabinet’s focus at its weekly meeting held yesterday was on a basket of agreements and legislative amendments. Among them: Amendments to the supply law that will impose prison time and fines on anyone involved in buying, selling, or smuggling subsidized food or oil with the intention of reselling at a profit. Amendments to the competition law to introduce harsher penalties for manipulators of basic commodities were also given the greenlight. The cabinet also apparently just got around to approving a 1959 cultural agreement with Germany, the day before Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Cairo. Subtle. Other decisions taken during yesterday’s meeting include:

  • Granting preliminary approval to the executive regulations of the Civil Service Law;
  • Approving joining the Trade Facilitation Agreement — which simplifies export and import processes between signatory countries — signed between World Trade Organization members in 2013;
  • Approving an agreement to build a 200-250 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, financed by the French Development Agency;
  • Sanctioning a USD 332.2 mn compensatory financing arrangement with the Arab Monetary Fund from December 2015;
  • Extending the deadline for hotels to pay overdue electricity, gas, property tax, and water bills until 31 December 2017.
  • Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed also said the cabinet decided to postpone and review hiking tourist visa fees, according to Al Shorouk.

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