ArabFinance: Egypts parliament has approved five important economic laws, including the General Unified Planning Law which aims to engage the private sector in economic development projects.
Topping the list are two laws on the General Unified Planning and the General Unified Finance.
The General Unified Planning Law aims to streamline the process of preparing Egypt's economic policies and engage the private sector in economic development projects.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Saeed told MPs that the law states that a Higher Council for Planning and Sustainable Development will be set up to help create coordination among all state authorities, the private sector, and civil society organizations when it comes to forging economic planning policies, and that the Council will make sure that no development projects are implemented without making sure first that they are economically feasible.
As for the General Unified Finance Law, it will merge two pieces of legislation regulating the annual state budget and government accounting into a single bill. Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait told MPs that the law is part of the government's economic and structural reforms that go in line with modern international methods in the area of budgeting and accounting.
The parliament also approved a legislative amendment to law regulating cotton production (law 106/1973) to allow merge the fund on improving Egyptian cottons into the Cotton Research Institute related to the Agricultural Research Center. "The merge is a step forward on the way of the government's efforts aimed at improving the quality of Egyptian cottons," said a House report.
The fourth law which got final approval from MPs on Tuesday was one which gives a legal green light for the Arab Union Company for Land Transport "Super Jet" to obtain an EGP 800 million loan from a number of Egyptian banks under guarantees provided by Minister of Finance. A parliamentary report said "the loan will give Super Jet the money necessary to buy 120 minibuses and build a garage inside Egypt's New Administrative Capital (NAC) to serve the first phase of internal transport there and that it will make it legal for the Finance Minister to guarantee Super Jet as the constitution stipulates that the government can take loans or offer loan guarantees only with prior approval from parliament.
The fifth and last law which got final nod from MPs was a one which will set up "The Tourism and Antiquities Fund," which aims to merge the existing three funds that finance Nubia's antiquities, national museums and tourism under one entity.
A House report explained that the new fund would finance national projects in the area of restoring antiquities, upgrading Egyptian museums, and promoting the tourism sector.
"The final objective of this law is to conserve the heritage of Egypt's civilisation and keep it intact for the coming generations, and achieve concrete progress in the sector of tourism," a report by the parliament said.
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