Egypt's cabinet abolishes daylight saving time

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Jul 2016

The cabinet decision came on the heels of a legal amendment initially approved by parliament to scrap the time change system

Daylight saving (Photo: Ahram Online)
(Photo: Ahram Online)

Egypt's cabinet decided Monday to scrap daylight savings time following recent confusion over whether to restore the time change aimed at energy conservation.

Last week, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Magdi Al-Agati said daylight savings time would be restored as of 8 July and would last until parliament issues a law to abolish it, which was initially approved last week before it was sent to the State Council for review.

However, the cabinet said in a statement Monday it will abolish the system, which would shift clocks one hour forward.

The decision is seemingly meant to avert restoring the system as scheduled later this week, which would force parliament to cancel it later if the amendment was adopted given that the chamber will not convene before July 17th due to the Islamic Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

"The cabinet had decided not to implement daylight savings time in light of the parliament's amendment to stop [the system] and not applying it in the future," the statement read.

Earlier this week, the chairman of EgyptAir said the flag carrier could lose up to $2 million if parliament votes for cancelling daylight saving time, yet stressed the airline "would deal flexibly" with any decision it reaches.

First implemented in the country in 1988, the system was introduced as a power-saving measure prolonging daylight hours.

It was abolished in April 2011 after the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, with the government arguing at the time that the practice was ineffective at curbing power usage.

The system was temporarily revived in May 2014 in order to ease consumption after the country saw rolling power blackouts.

Egypt is normally two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) — meaning it was three hours ahead when daylight savings time was applied.

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