500 firms linked to Egypt's IMC charged with violations
Ahram Online, Monday 5 Mar 2012
Industry minister refers hundreds of companies linked to Egypt’s Industrial Modernization Centre (IMC) to judicial authorities on suspicion of committing financial breaches worth LE3 billion

Egyptian Industry Minister Mohmoud Issa has decided to refer 492 companies to Egypt’s general prosecution for financial breaches worth a total of LE3 billion (roughly $500,000). The violations are reportedly related to Egypt’s Industrial Modernization Centre (IMC).

The IMC was originally established as an independent body mandated with encouraging Egypt’s industrial sector within the context of the Egypt- EU free trade agreement.

It was jointly financed by the European Union (250 million euros), the Egyptian government (103 million euros) and the Egyptian private sector (73 million euros).

According to a presidential decree before last year's revolution, the maximum ceiling for financing was set at 100,000 euros (roughly LE800,000) per company. But according to Issa, the IMC far surpassed this amount.

The IMC had originally been intended to operate over a fixed period, but the programme was later extended.

"The IMC is part of the process of continuously bringing Egyptian industry to international competitiveness with a serious commitment from the government of Egypt to continue financial support for years to come,” the IMC website states.