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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Topping the economic programing was talk of amendments to real estate taxations

It was a mixed bag on the airwaves last night. Topping the economic programing was talk of amendments to how real estate is taxed, though we see the investigation into the Egyptian Football Association as topping the ratings.

FinMin preemptively calms any possible outbreak of hysteria on real estate levy: With the House approving in principle amendments to the Income Tax Act that would impose a 2.5% levy on the quick sale value of real estate assets, the Finance Ministry took to the airwaves to dispel misconceptions on the law. Finance Ministry adviser Fathy Shaaban told Hona Al Asema this is not a new levy and it has already been in place since 1978, noting that the amendments only seek to enforce payment of the tax (watch, runtime: 10:22). We have more on the amendments in the Speed Round below.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s planned address to the House of Representatives today took up time on the airwaves. MP Mohamed Badrawy told Masaa DMC’s Eman Al Hosary that a House committee will be formed to review the plan within 10 days. Badrawy added that the House will request that the government provide a detailed plan on how it will implement its social welfare provisions every three months (watch, runtime: 3:47). Cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan told Yahdoth fi Masr that the government aims to focus on education, health and social services (watch, runtime: 3:13). Al Hayah fi Masr’s Kamal Mady sat with MP Soliman Wahdan who expects parliament to grant the new Madbouly cabinet a vote confidence and approve the plan (watch, runtime: 4:44).

Will social housing be marketed to non-Egyptians? Madbouly appears to have met with private sector developers to pitch them on taking part in low- and middle-income housing projects. Perhaps on if the most interesting aspects of the meeting was the suggestion that developers could sell social housing to non-Egyptian residents, Al Ahly for Real Estate Development chairman Hussein Sabbour tells Hona Al Asema in a call in. If implemented, foreigners would be able to acquire homes at a cost of around USD 400k and receive a five-year residence permit. He said such move his will generate foreign currency and dismissed the notion that it would raise real estate prices for Egyptians (watch, runtime: 13:53).

The debate on raising med prices is back and has taken center stage on the airwaves (or: What’s a bit of hyperbole among friends). Masaa DMC’s Eman Al Hosary said that some 10k pharmacies are facing the threat of closure due to their low profit margin. Pharmacists syndicate member George Attallah said that 50% of Egypt’s pharmacies, particularly those in rural areas, make less than EGP 1,000 in sales daily with a profit margin of only EGP 150-200 (watch, runtime: 7:36). Atallah is calling on the government to once again raise prices to help bolster their profit margins, which he notes are set by the government. Rep. Magdy Morshed said parliament should form a committee to set a pricing policy (watch, runtime: 5:38).

It’s happening, folks: The EFA is being investigated by everyone from the Central Auditing Organisation to the Youth and Sports Ministry for allegations of misuse of funds for the World Cup. Rep. Farag Amer told Hona Al Asema’s Dina Zahra that parliament will use all the powers at its disposal to uncover the reasons behind the failure of the FA over the years, but admitted that any committee from House will lack teeth to make meaningful changes to the federation (watch, runtime: 5:39).

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