Egypt's parliament to discuss new law easing real estate registration procedures

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 7 Feb 2022

Following a two-week holiday, Egypt's parliament will hold plenary sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday where it will discuss amendments to two laws on the regulation of real estate registration offices and on general education.

Egyptian Parliament
A file photo of Egyptian Parliament (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The amendments to the real estate registration law, which were approved by the House's Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee on 30 January, aim to simplify property registration procedures by cutting red tape, reducing the number of required documents, and putting a time ceiling on the process.

A report prepared by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee said the amendments aim to encourage citizens to notarise their property in real estate registration offices, create a friendly and bureaucracy-free atmosphere for real estate investors, and fight property theft.

Preliminary discussion, however, saw members of the House's Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee complaining that the new amendments are vague and still require citizens to follow several routine procedures, let alone pay a lot of money to notarize their property.

Upon orders from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the government of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly decided last year to entrusted the Ministry of Justice with amending the current law to streamline the process in order to encourage more notarisations. The new amendments were approved by the cabinet last November.

Tuesday's schedule of debate also includes discussing a proposed amendment to the general education Law, the most important of which would impose an EGP 500-1,000 fine on parents whose children stay absent from school and within one week of being notified.

The amendment was rejected by the House's Education Committee in a meeting on 31 January upon the grounds that the fine is hefty and is beyond the financial capability of most parents. Sami Hashem, chairman of the House's Education Committee, said many MPs also believe that the amendment is in violation of the constitution, which states that education is free.

The House will also discuss a new government-drafted law to set up the Egyptian Health Council. Ashraf Hatem, chairman of the House's Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, said the new Council will be responsible for raising the scientific and field capacities of new doctors and health workers in the health sector.

"This will come through providing graduates of the faculty of medicine with intensive training and improving health services," said a parliamentary report.

The House will also tackle a new government-drafted law on the procedures required for containing the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, one law and four foreign agreements are expected to be up for a final vote. The tourism and hotels law, provisionally approved by the House on 26 January, aims to simplify rules for tourism and hotel investments and businesses.

As for the four agreements, the first is on Egypt's financial contribution to the International Fund of Agricultural Development, and the second is on a grant provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for upgrading train coaches. The third is an agreement on a 10 million Swedish Krona grant provided by the International Swedish Fund to raise the efficiency of the Egyptian national electricity grid. The fourth agreement is on another SEK 5 million grant to be provided by the International Swedish Fund to improve the performance of Egypt's fleet of express and suburban buses.

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