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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Cabinet approves extending Tax Dispute Resolution Act for two additional years

The Ismail Cabinet agreed yesterday to extend the Tax Dispute Resolution Act’s mandate for an additional two years, according to a statement. The law, which had passed the House in September 2016, removed tax dispute cases from the courts and handed them over to newly-established committees to seek amicable settlements. Its mandate had originally been limited to one year, but the Finance Ministry had signaled in August that it would be looking to extend its application until all tax disputes are settled, particularly as it helped the ministry exceed its tax revenue targets for FY2016-17. Unless there’s a provision buried in the law making an extension a cabinet-level decision (and we’ve seen no evidence of that), expect this will now go back to the House for approval.

Cabinet also reportedly approved the purchase of wind-generate power from three stations that Lekela Power, Italgen, and Marubeni plan to construct, head of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company’s (EETC) tariff unit Lamiaa Youssef tells Al Borsa. The EETC will purchase the power at USD 0.036-0.038 per kWh for 25 years, government sources tell the newspaper. The stations will produce a combined 1.170 GW of power.

The ministers also agreed to suspend issuing licenses for billboards, and form a committee to set new regulations for the issuance of further licenses, Al Mal reports. The decision is meant to tackle the haphazard placement of billboards, according to Cabinet spokesperson Ashraf Sultan. This makes us very happy. Other decisions taken during the weekly meeting include:

  • Issuing a decision to establish the information database for the state budget as a prelude to canceling cash payments by the end of this month;
  • Approving a presidential decree ordering the restructuring of the Egyptian Survey Authority.

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