MPs pass Industrial Permits Act
One key piece of economic legislation that MPs were fit to pass on Thursday was the Industrial Permits Act, which aims to reduce the time it takes to license a new factory. The act, whose key points are reviewed in Al Borsa, mandates that the Industrial Development Authority respond to a request for a license within 30 days of the request being filed. Industries will be offered licensing on two tracks: The first is for any heavy industry that carries significant environmental, health, safety, or security risks. These manufacturers have to apply for a license and receive prior approval from the IDA and pay fees of up to EGP 20,000. The second path targets smaller, lower-risk manufacturers, who can simply inform the IDA of their intention to open a factory. These will receive temporary licenses for up to 90 days, after which they must meet the IDA’s standards to receive a full permit. A 180-day extension on that grace period will be granted if these standards are not met. Licensing fees will be much cheaper at EGP 5,000. SMEs will be granted a 50% discount on these fees. Penalties have also been tightened, where violators could see up to a year in jail and fines of up to EGP 10 mn depending on the licensing path. The legislation is now with Maglis El Dawla for a final review and will have to be signed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and published in the Official Gazette before becoming law.