Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 1 April 2018

Ride-Hailing Apps Act gets preliminary approval from House committees

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Ride-Hailing Apps Act has received preliminary approvals from a number of committees in the House of Representatives on Thursday, according to a statement from the Investment Ministry. The House’s economics, transport, ICT, defense and national security committees all gave their initial sign off to the act, said Investment Minister Sahar Nasr. The fast-tracking of the act, which leaked to the press last week, came after an Administrative Court ordered last month that Uber and Careem be shut down.

Uber and Careem continue to push for major amendments to the Act. Despite Nasr’s praise of the inclusive process of drafting the law, which she says incorporated the views of government, the companies and taxis, it seems that the government remains the only body happy with the proposed bill. Uber and Careem lobbied hard during Thursday’s parliamentary hearings for major amendments. Their key concern: A provision that would store user data in Egypt and make it accessible to government entities. Uber Egypt’s head of public policy, Rana Kortam, argued that these provisions violate user privacy provisions and are unconstitutional. She noted that the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) had itself objected to some of these articles, prompting some MPs to raise the usual national security flags, according to Al Mal.

Nasr tried to spread oil on troubled waters, saying the executive regulations and future amendments to the proposed act could address the companies’ concerns.

Taxi drivers are also unhappy with the bill, with their reps at the hearing objecting to articles that would see white cabs become part of Uber and Careem fleets, MP Amr El Gohary tells Al Mal. Cabbies also want to require cars in Uber and Careem’s fleets to use transportation license plates and are demanding that Uber drivers have professional, rather than personal, driving licenses. The white taxis association is planning to send a full list of its grievances to the House and Cabinet today, association head Mahmoud Abdel Hamid said.

Careem is apparently “not worried” about all of this: The recent developments, including the court ruling ordering Uber and Careem’s shutdown, is “a little bit of noise” that Careem is not particularly concerned about, Gulf Managing Director Bassel Al Nahlaoui tells Gulf News. The company is intent on working with the government to find a “win-win situation,” Al Nahlaoui says.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.