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Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Egypt’s talk shows: No new tax increases + addressing parent concerns on hybrid learning

The talking heads had a busy evening yesterday as they covered everything from Finance Minister Mohamed Maait’s latest update on state coffers, to the Education Ministry’s efforts to resolve parents’ concerns on hybrid learning models, and updates on the new electric railway.

The government still has no intention to increase taxes, despite a shortfall in revenues last fiscal year as a result of a dip in tax collection, Maait said at the Regional Forum for Medical Insurance and Healthcare yesterday. Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi took note of the key figures Maait recapped from the current fiscal year’s budget, including healthcare expenditures (watch, runtime: 2:07). We have more on the story in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

The Education Ministry plans to have a new system in place before the end of 2020 to address issues with private and international schools, including the extent of the ministry’s authority over their policies and decisions, Minister Tarek Shawki told Lamees. The ministry is also still working to address parent and teacher concerns about the government’s decision to move towards distance and hybrid learning models amid the pandemic (watch, runtime: 18:33).

The high-speed electric rail should be complete within 24 months, with work set to begin as of next month, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazeer told Lamees. The first phase of the rail will connect Ain Sokhna to New Alamein, the minister noted (watch, runtime: 14:46).

In other transport news, Egypt’s first locally assembled electric vehicle is expected to hit the market by the end of 2021 and retail at EGP 350k, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib. The vehicle — a Chinese version of the Nissan Leaf EV — will have a 45% local component quota to start with, which is set to increase to 55% within two years, Tawfik said (watch, runtime: 15:43).

Citizens will have online access to 72 government services before the year is out, Deputy CIT Minister Khaled El Attar told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal. These include real estate registration, personal status services, and submitting inquiries about other services, El Attar said (watch, runtime: 9:07)

Elsewhere on the airwaves last night: Social Housing Fund boss Mai Abdelhamid laid out the details of the fund’s social housing development plans, which are focused primarily in Upper Egypt, in separate conversations with Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 10:47) and Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 11:48).

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