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Government racing against clock to win next parliament’s trust - Daily News Egypt

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Government racing against clock to win next parliament’s trust

Security, economic growth, social justice, and improving citizens’ lives are programme’s basics, says governmental official

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s government is racing against the clock to create a governmental programme that reflects its view on advancing the situation in Egypt and confronting the current challenges.

The programme will be presented to the next parliament to guarantee its survival.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced that the new parliament will decide whether the government will continue or not, if it agreed on the latter’s work programme for the upcoming period. The new parliament is expected to begin working by the beginning of 2016, after the second phase of elections comes to an end.

A source at the cabinet said the programme is about to be completed and it will focus on the means the government can use to achieve security as one of the tools of political, economic, and social stability. The programme will also focus on the mechanisms of raising the rates of economic growth to more than 5.5%, accompanied by social security and protection networks to guarantee social justice. This is in addition to taking procedures that improve the citizens’ lives.

“The programme will be ready before the end of 2015,” the official said.

Over the past two days, Ismail visited the Ministries of Petroleum, Electricity, Tourism, Communications, Social Solidarity, and Antiquities. He reviewed each minister’s plan for developing and contributing to the professional and disciplined drafting for the new government programme.

A source at the Ministry of Investment said Ismail visited their headquarters last week and entrusted them to quickly put forth a clear investment plan for all governorates. Ismail demanded the prompt implementation of the single-window system to present all the lands available for investment through one entity, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in coordination with different responsible bodies.

The Ministry of Investment had faced significant difficulties in activating the single-window system as the different authorities have refused to give up on their authority to the Ministry of Investment in allocating lands. As such, the single-window system is not completely activated yet.

According to the governmental official, Egypt is facing challenges in developing infrastructure and attracting investments in different sectors like education, agriculture, industry, petroleum, and transportation. The programme is expected to address these challenges.

The government is continuing to develop all laws regulating economic activity, including investment laws, to be able to attract international capital and allow investors to settle in Egypt, which will contribute to increasing the rates of employment and economic growth.

The programme will also include the government’s plan to implement the of smart cards system to distribute subsidised benzene, diesel, and butane gas. It will also increase the budget allocated for health, education, and scientific research to 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2017.

According to one parliamentary candidates in the governorate of Menufiya, who is running for elections in the second phase, the next parliament will not grant confidence to individuals, but to an integrated professional governmental programme to achieve Egypt’s developmental goals.

The programme, according to the governmental official, aims to modernise networks of infrastructure of drinking water, sanitation, electricity, and mass transit that were not developed for years, especially in disadvantaged and marginalised areas. It also aims to expand the social insurance umbrella.

The programme aims to put forth clear plans to encourage and protect local products against illicit competition. This will impose controls on customs ports and prevent smuggling operations that violate public treasury rights, represented in the custom fees and taxes on imports.

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