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Thursday, 26 July 2018

House approves legislation to channel 5-15% of slush funds to state coffers

The Madbouly Cabinet received the House of Representatives’ official vote of confidence yesterday, Al Mal reports.The majority of reps. had signaled their approval of the cabinet’s policy program, which Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly had unveiled early in July. The agenda is focused on the five main areas of economic development, improving living standards, human development, national security, and foreign policy; it also targets a GDP growth rate of 8% and a sovereign debt level of 80-85% of GDP by FY2021-2022. You can tap or click here for our spotlight on the cabinet’s agenda.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Finance Ministry’s proposal to reduce the mandate of the Tax Dispute Resolution Act also received parliamentary sign-off yesterday. The ministry had signaled its intention to cut the law’s mandate short to speed up the resolution of the tax disputes currently on file. The Act will now expire on 31 December 2018, after its mandate had been renewed for two years in March.

House approves legislation to channel 5-15% of slush funds to state coffers: The House also approved yesterday legislation earmarking 5-15% of ministerial “private funds” for state coffers, Al Mal reports. The bill exempts funds used for educational research, charity, social housing, and university hospitals, as well as funds financed by international loans and grants. The legislation will also see state coffers laying claim to a one-time 15% cut of the annual surplus generated by these funds as of 30 June, 2018.

Parliament also gave its final approval to the Public Contracts Act (previously known as the Tenders and Auctions Act) after the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) reviewed the legislation for a second time following the name change, Youm7 reports. The legislation aims to decentralize and streamline tender procedures.

Reps. also approved amendments to the Government Accounting Act that legally enshrine the transition towards a cashless economy, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The amendments make it mandatory for all government transactions to be electronic, and ban the use of paper cheques for transactions above a set threshold.

Also approved yesterday: A draft law allowing the Finance Ministry to act as guarantor to the National Company for Construction & Development’s settlement of the Omar Effendi Company’s USD 35 mn debt to the International Finance Corporation, according to Al Shorouk. The company is required to repay the debt by the end of the year.

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