Minister of Public Enterprise Hesham Tawfik
Earlier in June, Tawfik – in response to questions directed by MPs – insisted that "liquidation of El-Nasr Coke and Chemicals Company will go ahead as planned after it incurred losses of EGP 30 million last year and that there is no hope of reforming the company and turning it into a profitable one."
Tawfik's response came in the course of a report that was sent to the House of Representatives on 7 June.
One day earlier, MPs sharply criticised Tawfik, accusing him of ignoring their questions on "his harmful privatisation and liquidation policies."
MP Mostafa Bakri said Tawfik's statements about losses of public sector companies are incorrect and that he should come to the house to answer questions directed by MPs in this respect.
Bakri said, "Tawfik is planning to liquidate El-Nasr Coke and Chemicals Company even though it secured profits of EGP 114 million last year."
In response, Minister Tawfik sent a report to the House on 7 June, indicating that "his decision on liquidating the coke company came only after its losses hit a record EGP 30 million last year and that there is no hope modernising this company or rectifying its financial conditions."
"In order to keep this company operating, it has to import huge quantities of raw coal from Canada every year to process it into coke and then export it to foreign markets, but this is an illogical procedure because it is very costly and will never be covered by profits, if any."
Tawfik also indicated that "El-Coke company's products, except one or two, are no longer in demand on the market and so the liquidation decision is quite correct."
Ihab Mansour, an MP affiliated with the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, also submitted "an urgent statement" on El-Coke Company to be delivered before the House this week.
Mansour said "Minister Tawfik's privatisation policies go against President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi's statements in support of localising industries, cutting imports and boosting industrial exports."
"But the problem is that this minister has a negative view of the public sector and his policies always aim at selling public assets, a procedure which led to the proliferation of private monopolies on the local market," said Mansour, also insisting that "El-Nasr Coke secured profits of EGP 114 million last year."
MPs Mostafa Bakri and Mahmoud Qassem also issued "urgent statements" regarding Tawfik's plans to sell off public sector hotels, which are also expected to delivered before the house this week.
Tawfik said in a press interview with the independent Al-Masry Al-Youm on 14 June "the government is already planning to privatise 20-30 percent of shares of seven public sector hotels to Arab sovereign funds.”
He added that "the selling off part of the shares of these hotels came because they need a comprehensive and expensive process of renovation, so it is better to privatise some of their shares."