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Thursday, 9 January 2020

Egypt approves undisclosed Information Ministry policy proposal, agrees on role of ministry

CABINET WATCH- Cabinet approves undisclosed Information Ministry media policy, agrees on role of ministry: The Madbouly Cabinet announced yesterday that it had greenlit Information Minister Osama Heikal’s media policy, but did not disclose details about what the minister had proposed. Ministers also agreed on the role that the newly-reinstated ministry will play, but the statement offered little detail. Cabinet’s legal counsel will soon draft the ministry’s mandate and responsibilities before Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly gives final approval and issues a regulatory framework.

Background: Heikal was appointed information minister during last month’s cabinet shuffle, having previously held the post after 25 January 2011 and prior to the ministry’s dissolution in 2014. There have been questions from the House on what the ministry’s role would entail, given that the 2018 Press and Media Act set up a Supreme Media Council.

Amendments to law giving gov’t power of eminent domain: Cabinet approved legislative amendments to the 1990 Eminent Domain Act, which granted the president the right to seize private property for projects that promote the “public good.” Among other provisions, the law allows the president to take privately-owned land under eminent domain and offer compensation that includes a 20% premium on the value of the land.

What are the changes? The government will have more time to make public a ministerial order or contract with the landowner. Previously, the government had to publish the information in the Official Gazette within two years of the transfer. The new amendments extend this to three years to give the authority enforcing the decree more time to complete the procedures.

ْCompensation for those affected by High Dam construction: The cabinet approved the disbursement of compensation for those impacted by the construction of the High Dam. Entitled citizens will be able to claim land, residential units, or cash compensation.

More from the cabinet meeting:

  • Changes to Terrorist Entities Act: Cabinet also greenlit changes to the 2015 Terrorist Entities Act to widen the definition of “[terror-linked] funds” to include both assets and resources such as oil.
  • Draft law on public planning: Cabinet approved draft legislation that would aim down a plan for medium- and long-term development, evaluate this plan, follow up on its implementation, and define the roles and relationships of bodies responsible for public planning.

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