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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Cabinet approves 24-hour operation in Egypt’s ports, USD 168 mn loan from JICA

CABINET WATCH- The Ismail Cabinet approved yesterday a decision to keep Egypt’s ports open around the clock. Ports were previously open for business 16 hours a day. The move comes in an effort to cut down on “long waiting times,” Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat told Reuters yesterday. The extended port hours will not come at any added cost to shippers, said Arafat. The decision may have been taken to assuage traders who have complained of high demurrage fees in recent months caused by long delays for their vessels at Egyptian ports. Arafat stopped short of specifying when the new decision comes into effect.

The Cabinet also signed off on a draft presidential decree to accept a USD 168 mn loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to finance the construction of 45 new Japanese-style schools. Student enrolment in the 22 schools that will be ready to launch in the upcoming academic year in September will begin in June, sources tell Youm 7. Online applications will be available through the Education Ministry’s website. Applications for teaching positions also opened on Sunday.

Also approved during the weekly meeting:

  • Amendments to Sanitation Act regulating monthly fee collections, which sets different fees for residential and commercial purposes that vary based on property type.
  • Setting 14 June as a deadline for landowners to legalize their status to avoid having the state reclaim it.
  • A EUR 8 mn loan from the French Development Agency to refurbish the Alex tramway.
  • A KWD 100k grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to finance feasibility studies for a palm tree cultivation project in Egypt.
  • A decision allowing the Oil Minister to cooperate with the EGPC, IEOC, and BP Egypt on oil exploration and development in the Nile Delta.
  • A presidential decree giving the New and Urban Communities Authority dominion over the Warraq Island ahead of a plan to redevelop it in collaboration with the Armed Forces Engineering Authority.
  • A decision legalizing the status of 102 unlicensed churches and their 64 service buildings.

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