Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has ordered the formation of a ministerial committee to facilitate the procedures required for registering real estate, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday.
Madbouly's directive came during the cabinet's weekly meeting that was held via video conference on Wednesday, during which a host of issues was discussed.
The PM said the committee will include the ministries of justice, finance and local development, said the statement.
"The state works to encourage citizens to register their real estate with the aim of securing their properties, and therefore the registration procedures should be facilitated," Madbouly said, charging the concerned ministers to quickly convening a meeting for the committee and present the outcomes of its work to the cabinet.
Madbouly has also ordered that the procedures and the objective of registration be explained to citizens so as not to allow the spread of rumours and false information regarding this issue, the statement noted.
According to amendments to the real estate registry law that were approved last August, new fees will be required to register properties at real estate registry offices starting 6 March.
On Monday, Minister of Justice Omar Marawan said in TV statements that citizens "are not obliged" to register their housing units at real estate registry offices, with the exception of two cases.
The first case is when a property owner wants a government agency to install facilities such as water, gas, or electricity meters, and the second is if they wish to transfer ownership of the property, Marawan said.
The justice minister said that registration fees range from EGP 500 to EGP 2,000, which is the maximum fee for properties exceeding 300 metres, as well as 2.5 percent of the property’s value under the “real estate disposal tax.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait dismissed reports that a new tax would be imposed on the sale of real estate, explaining that the real estate disposal tax has been in place since 1939 and was reduced in 1996 from 5 to 2.5 percent.
The finance ministry's statement added that real estate registry offices, electricity and water companies, or local administration offices would not register properties unless the owner provides evidence that they have paid the real estate disposal tax.