The 13-article bill has yet to be finally approved by the House of Representatives and ratified by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi before becoming a law that is enforced by the government.
The Senate's significant changes came at the behest of many members who complained that the text of many of the bill's articles lacked clarity. Therefore, the Senate decided to introduce the following significant changes.
The wording of Article 1 was altered. It now reads "a supreme council for vehicle manufacturing will be established and chaired by the prime minister and shall include as members the minister of trade and industry (also acting as deputy chairman and acting on behalf of the prime minister), the minister of public enterprise, the minister of planning, the minister of finance, the minister of transport, and the minister of military production, as well as four members with verified expertise in the field of vehicle manufacturing.
The original text read “a supreme council for vehicle manufacturing will be established and chaired by the prime minister or anyone acting on his behalf, and will include three members only, who are the minister of industry and trade as well as at least two members with expertise in the area of vehicle manufacturing.”
The Senate also added a new paragraph to Article 3, introducing a clear definition of the term "environment-friendly vehicles". The paragraph now states that environment-friendly EVs are both vehicles which do not produce fuel emissions harmful to the environment and those which produce low fuel emissions that are not too harmful to the environment, like electric vehicles.
Through its Environmental Affairs Authority, the Ministry of Environment will lay down the criteria that determine whether a vehicle is harmful or less harmful. These criteria will be publicly disseminated in accordance with a decree to be issued by the prime minister.
The Senate also introduced changes to Article 4, which delineates the roles of the fund in financing the environment-friendly electric vehicle industry.
The fund shall have three roles as follows:
Financing and upgrading the environment-friendly EV industry in terms of setting up research and technology centres.
Encouraging innovation to increase the competitiveness of the EV industry.
Planning programmes and offering incentives that aim to promote the EV industry and stem the negative impacts of harmful fuel emissions.
The fund's 18-member board
The Senate also changed the structure of the fund's board. The board will now be headed by the minister of finance, and shall include as members the ministers of planning and economic development, environment, public enterprise, transport, industry and trade, and military production.
In addition, the board will include the head of the General Authority for Industrial Development, the chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, and the executive director of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).
The board will also include representatives from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation, and the Vehicle Manufacturing Unit affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, as well as four members with expertise in the area of EV industry, which are to be nominated by both ministers of finance and industry.
The fund's board shall serve for four years subject to renewal.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Alaa El-din Fouad said "the government approved the changes introduced by the Senate and has hopes its final approval in the House will open the door for turning Egypt into a regional hub for vehicle manufacturing in Africa and the Middle East."
The House's Industrial Committee has expressed its preliminary agreement to the bill. It is set to discuss the bill and vote on it during its upcoming plenary sessions before final approval.