Gov’t to celebrate electronic payment system next week, Shadia passes away
Between the government’s long-awaited transition to an e-payments system, reactions to Egyptian actress Shadia’s death, and continued coverage of the situation in North Sinai, the airwaves were brimming with miscellany last night.
Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal that the government willcelebrate officially bidding adieu to paper cheques in favor of an electronic system at the Cairo ICT Conference on Sunday. Next on the ministry’s to-do list: digitizing the budgets of state agencies to streamline the revenue collection process and allow for better oversight of state funds (watch, runtime: 7:33).
Kamal also talked to Banque Misr Deputy Chairman Sahar El Damaty, who said the bank’s portfolio of non-performing loans has eased to 5.5% of its loan book in “recent years” from a previous high of 10.3%. On the back of easing FX restrictions and export-promotion measures, the majority of the bank’s loan growth is being driven by industry, she noted (watch, runtime: 4:27). El Damaty said that 55% of all current loans in nation’s banking system (which she pegged at EGP 1.4 tn, up from EGP 200 bn in 2010) have been extended by state-owned banks (watch, runtime: 4:17).
Kol Youm’s Amr Adib persevered in his coverage of the developments in North Sinai, starting with a discussion about the equipment and devices security forces found during a raid on terrorist hideouts in Ismailia (we have more details in National Security, below). Adib pointed to the equipment as evidence of the massive amount of funding being funneled into terror organizations there (watch, runtime: 5:32).
Adib also took note of a report CNN aired yesterday that included footage from inside ElRawda mosque. He hailed the decision to grant CNN’s reporters access to the mosque after the government had barred foreign journalists from the area. Adib attributed the change of heart to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday, during which the issue of press access came up (watch, runtime: 4:44).
Meanwhile, Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi and Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin dedicated the better part of their evenings to mourning the loss of Egyptian cinema icon Shadia. We have our own tribute for her in Worth Watching, below.