Senate to resume discussions over new insurance law, overpopulation problem this week

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 9 Apr 2022

Egypt’s Senate — the consultative upper house of Parliament — will convene on Sunday and Monday to resume discussions over the articles of the new government-drafted Unified Insurance Law following a two-week recess.

Egypt s Senate. Al-Ahram

The Senate will also resume a debate over a study on the problem of overpopulation in Egypt and what measures should be taken to contain it.

The Senate, which approved the new 217-article insurance law in principle on 27 February, has so far discussed 100 articles.

Hany Sirri — the head of the Senate’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee — said the draft Unified Insurance Law aims to draw up new and comprehensive rules for regulating the insurance industry and market in Egypt.

“The past four decades have practically shown that the insurance market is in a pressing need for new legislative and regulatory rules,” said Sirri, adding that “technological developments and the creation of new insurance tools also require that a unified insurance legislation be passed.”

Sirri stated that the new law is necessary to cover a host of professions and services that were lately introduced into the insurance industry.

“It seeks to cover the rights of holders of insurance policies and private insurance funds,” said Sirri, noting that “the law also aims to streamline insurance rules to go in line with new international standards and to speed up digitisation reforms and the use of fintech in the insurance sector.”

Sirri pointed out that “the law is meant to widen the scope of obligatory insurance operations in order to achieve insurance inclusiveness and reach out to poor and limited-income classes that are not currently covered by any kind of insurance, particularly health insurance.”

He explained that the new law will cover all kinds of insurance operations. “The law will regulate insurance companies, special funds, obligatory operations such as highway accidents, and state the new supervisory rules for the insurance industry,” said Sirri, adding that “at the end, we will have a unified law that will regulate all forms of insurance in Egypt that is in line with international rules and methods and imposes stricter supervision.”

Two weeks ago, the Senate discussed articles regulating insurance funds, which cover risks not usually accepted by private sector insurance companies. It also approved article 100, which allows the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) to license the merge of two private insurance funds into one fund only after the approval of the general assemblies of the two funds.

Meanwhile, the Senate will also continue discussing a study prepared by MP Soheir Abdel-Sallam on the problem of overpopulation in Egypt and what measures and solutions should be taken to contain it.

Speaker of the Senate Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razek revealed two weeks ago that concerned cabinet ministers and officials would be invited to address the chamber on the problem of overpopulation in Egypt.

“It is a very serious national issue, and all officials should participate in the Senate’s debate in order to draw up a new strategy on containing the runaway growth of population in Egypt,” said Abdel-Razek.

The study — which the Senate began discussing on 28 March — warns that Egypt’s population will reach 128 million by the year 2030 and 183 million by the year 2050.

“This runaway growth of population poses a serious threat to the country’s future, economic development, and national security,” said the study, asking that “the role of the National Population Council be reactivated in addition to the fact that new and urgent measures that can reduce population growth to just 110 million by 2030 should be adopted.”

Furthermore, the study proposed that an independent authority be set up to forge a new serious strategy on curbing overpopulation in Egypt. “It shall be named the National Population and Family Planning Authority and would be affiliated with the presidency — rather than with the Ministry of Health and Population— and it would be granted powers that can take serious collective action in the area of checking overpopulation,” said the study.

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