Egypt's parliament to discuss new irrigation and water resources law this week

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 28 Feb 2021

The House of Representatives will also discuss three laws on regulating Umrah pilgrimage, the donation of blood, and the election of the board of the Federation of Egyptian Industries

Egypt’s House of Representatives approved extending the country’s state of emergency for three more months, effective as of 24 January. PHOTO KHALED MASHAAL
Egypt's House of Representatives will reconvene on Sunday to discuss a new legislative agenda, including a draft legislation for a new irrigation and water resources law.
According to the debate schedule, parliament will meet on Sunday to discuss a report prepared by the house's Tourism, Antiquities and Civil Aviation Committee on a new law that establishes an online portal for Egyptians seeking to perform Umrah pilgrimage and for Egyptian tourist companies wishing to organise Umrah visits.
Parliament is also expected to discuss on Sunday a new bill regulating blood donation works as well as the manufacturing, collecting and exporting of plasma and its derivatives.
On Monday, parliament is scheduled to debate two bills, the first of which aims to amend the law regulating the performance of the Central Agency for Organisation and Management (law 118/1964). While the second bill also seeks to change some of the articles in the law regulating the election of the board of the Egyptian Federation of Industries and Chambers of Industry.
Parliament will also discuss an Egyptian-Italian agreement on establishing a city for leather products in Cairo (Robiki).
On Tuesday, parliament is expected to discuss a report prepared by the house's Agriculture Committee on a government-drafted law on water resources and irrigation works.
According to the report, the new draft law aims at introducing a more effective system for managing water resources in Egypt.
"This will include a number of measures such as limiting the cultivation of water consuming crops to small areas, banning the drilling of underground water without a prior approval from the ministry of irrigation and preventing the setting up of fish farms on main water currents," said the report.
It added that the law also aims to address pollution and water waste at a time when the country is facing a state of dwindling water resources and adverse climate changes.
The bill states that the ministry of irrigation in coordination with the ministry of agriculture and local administration units will mainly be responsible for designating the areas to be allocated to cultivating water consuming crops - particularly rice - on an annual basis.
"Violators of the above measure will face stricter penalties such as heavy financial fines and prison sentences," reads the bill.
The draft law also proposes penalties on "those who cut trees or palm trees cultivated on public land without a prior approval, violators will face a fine ranging from EGP 1,000 to EGP 5,000 per tree."
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