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Monday, 20 February 2023

Senate approves bill allowing informal industrial projects to get temporary licenses

Senators greenlight temporary relief to informal industrial projects: The Senate approved yesterday a government-drafted bill that would allow unlicensed industrial projects to obtain temporary licenses. The two-article bill would grant the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) the power to allow unlicensed projects to operate for a temporary one-year period while they work to legalize their positions. The period could be extended for an additional two years by the trade and industry minister upon the recommendations of the IDA and after they observe standards stipulated by the Environment Ministry and civil defense authorities.

Thousands to benefit: Some 60k unlicensed industrial projects currently operate without a license, Wafdist and Mostaqbal Watan Senators Yasser El Hodeibi and Mohamed Azzmi said. "Most of these are small and medium-scale industrial enterprises that have been unable to get a license since 2017," he said, adding that "bureaucratic” requirements by the IDA have made it difficult for such projects to obtain licenses. "I hope that the IDA will improve its performance and scrap complicated bureaucratic measures to help speed up the process of integrating unlicensed industrial projects into the formal economy," he said.

Bureaucratic? Who, me? Trade and Industry Minister Ahmed Samir dismissed claims that the IDA’s requirements hindered efforts by informal industrial businesses to go legit. Industrial firms can obtain a license within a month at most, he said, adding that applications can now be submitted online. Low-risk firms can receive a license within one week after paying EGP 1k (plus VAT) while higher-risk businesses must pay EGP 20k and may have to wait a month before receiving their licenses, the minister said.

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