Amendments might be made to Investment Law No. 17 of 2015, which will allow all parties to allocate land rather than allocating it through the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), government sources told Daily News Egypt.
According to the possible amendments, investors would not be required to send their land portfolio bids to GAFI, which would become optional as other parties that own investment-ready land would have the right to allocate it independently.
During an iftar organised by the Ministry of Investment on Thursday, GAFI’s legal advisor Tamer El-Dakak said that a united law means that the land would be allocated to investors directly without having to coordinate with GAFI. GAFI would then have to coordinate with everyone rather than be the sole arbitrator.
Article 51 of the Investment Law states that GAFI is the only responsible party for offering up available land for investment and promoting it through its one-stop shop, which includes representatives of the landowners in the process. Lands are to be allocated in accordance with the rules of the concerned parties.
Investment Law No. 17 of 2015 obliges land owners to provide GAFI with detailed maps, marking all available land up for investment under its jurisdiction. This is in addition to providing a full database that includes the spaces, prices, facilities, and all other measurements. Land owners are required to update the data as necessary.
The government’s possible move to cancel the one-stop shop through GAFI comes a few weeks after the cabinet authorised the Industrial Development Authority to take over the tasks of allocating industrial land and to finalise lands licensing and pricing procedures.
The cabinet recently allowed for the Industrial Development Authority to offer up its own plots of land for bidding, without having to include GAFI in the process. However, if the authority faces any problems and asks for support, we will cooperate, said El-Dakak.
The past few days have witnessed a number of disputes between landowners and GAFI, following claims that GAFI has delayed offering up land for investment.
Minister of Investment Dalia Khorshid had formed a new committee to receive proposals from business organisations to amend the Investment Law.
During an interview on Thursday, Khorshid said that the ministry will evaluate all of the proposals and select articles that require amendments to be sent in a proposal to the Economic Committee of the House of Representatives.
GAFI Chief Executive Mohammed Khudair said the authority opened the door for business organisations to propose amendments in order to reach a conclusion on which measure is the most appropriate one to take.
Khudair noted that if any of the proposed amendments will work well for the investment atmosphere, then GAFI will seek to approve them.