Egypt’s Parliament approves new law supporting disabled citizens

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 4 Jul 2022

The House of Representatives — the lower house of Egypt’s bicameral Parliament — approved on Sunday a number of legislative amendments to the law regulating the fund supporting disabled citizens (Law 200/2020) that was drafted and submitted by the Mostaqbal Watan Party, which holds a majority in the House.

File Photo: Egypt s parliament during a session. Al-Ahram


Article two of the law, which was approved by the Senate last March, states that its name will be changed to ‘The Law on the Fund for Supporting Citizens with Different Capabilities.’ The fund will also be affiliated with the presidency and located in Cairo; however, more branches can be opened in other governorates.

Article five states that the fund will be run by a council of trustees to be headed by the president of the republic and tasked with drafting its internal bylaws and its technical, administrative, and financial regulations, adding that the council will have complete powers to achieve the fund’s objectives in an economic and sustainable way.

Furthermore, article four states that the fund’s money will be used to build hospitals and health units for disabled citizens. “It will also be used to rehabilitate disabled citizens in order to integrate them into society by organising professional training programmes,” said the article, adding that “the fund will also help disabled citizens set up small-scale and medium-scale productive projects with good economic returns.”

Additionally, the fund will help disabled citizens participate in sporting, cultural, and social activities, and provide support for those who show talent.

“The fund will also spend on programmes, forums, and conferences aiming to spread social awareness of the rights and requirements of disabled citizens, and create job opportunities for them,” reads article four.

Shaimaa Hassanein, deputy chairperson of the House’s Social Solidarity Committee, said the amendments go in line with Article 81 of Egypt’s 2014 constitution, which states that the state shall guarantee the health, economic, social, cultural, entertainment, sporting, and educational rights of persons with disabilities.

“Besides, the law also reflects part of Egypt’s new human rights strategy, which aims to reinforce the rights of people with disabilities and help them integrate into society,” said Hassanein.

Meanwhile, the House also gave its final approval on Sunday to an agreement signed between the government of Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The agreement — signed on 30 March 2022 — aims to boost the PIF’s investments in Egypt in a way that will widen the scope of the economic cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and promote their investments in other countries on both the regional and international levels.

Furthermore, a report prepared by the House’s Economic Affairs Committee and the Budget Committee said the agreement with the PIF also aims to contribute to achieving the Egyptian government’s foreign investment targets in FY2022/23 and localising modern technology.

In other news, the House’s Sunday session saw three MPs delivering “urgent statements” to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

The first one — presented by MP Mostafa Bakri — calls for invoking legal procedures against Chairperson of the Conservatives Party Akmal Qortam. Bakri charged that Qortam participated in an interview over the telephone with the Muslim Brotherhood TV-affiliated channel of Mekamleen in violation of the law and the state’s designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

“How can a chairperson of a licensed political party participate in an interview with a Muslim Brotherhood channel and talks with a host accused of inciting violence against the Egypt’s army and police officers,” said Bakri, calling on the prosecution to take legal action again Qortam.

The second one — presented by MP Mohamed Rady — called for opening an investigation into what he called “the gross financial and administrative irregularities” committed by Ayman Hossam, chairperson of the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA).

Rady said “the chairperson of the Consumer Protection Agency takes more than one salary in violation of the maximum limit stipulated by the law.”

“He takes a salary of EGP 52,000 from the agency, a salary of EGP 82 million from the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, and salaries from several food companies in return for his membership in the boards of these companies,” he added, noting that “he has failed to settle many crises on the market, the most notable of which is the current car market crisis.”

The third statement — presented by MP Mahmoud Essam — is related to the decision of the world’s largest cigarette producer, British American Tobacco, to liquidate its activities in Egypt and withdraw from the Egyptian market.

“While Egypt is doing its best to attract foreign investments of $8 to 10 billion in FY2022/23, we are surprised by the decision of British American Tobacco to withdraw from the Egyptian market,” said Essam.

He inquired as to “whether the British American Tobacco’s withdrawal is due to the government’s recent decision to declare a bid among international tobacco companies to grant a licence to produce cigarettes in Egypt.”

Short link: