Egypt's parliament approves easing reconciliation in construction violations

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 20 Nov 2023

Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – gave Monday its final approval for a new law that facilitates reconciliation in building violations.

Egyptian Parliament
A file photo of the Egyptian Parliament. Photo : Al-Ahram

The bill states that citizens can reach reconciliation on construction violations that existed until the most recent aerial survey for buildings conducted by the Egyptian government on 15 October 2023.  

The law grants a 25 percent discount to those who pay complete reconciliation fees or pay in instalments over no more than five years. 

It will also legalize constructions built on state-owned lands or added to buildings with distinct architectural styles in return for paying reconciliation fees ranging from EGP 50 to EGP 2500. 

Furthermore, the law mandates forming committees in all governorates to examine the reconciliation requests.

The new law was, however, rejected by Abdel-Moneim Imam, head of the Justice (Al-Adl) party, and independent MP Mostafa Bakri.

Imam and Bakri said the government should first submit a unified building bill to solve all the construction problems that face citizens.   

For his part, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Alaaeddin Fouad said the law aims to safeguard public interest by "making it easier for citizens to settle construction violations with state authorities."

"This law provides an opportunity for citizens to keep their housing units intact and live in them in safety and security," said Fouad.

He added that, unlike the 2019 law, the new law's executive regulations, which will be issued soon, will be simple and avoid confusion for citizens.

Parliament speaker Hanafi Gebaly said there are fears that the new law, like the old one, could face problems while implementing it.

Therefore, Gebaly called on the government to ensure that the executive regulations are drafted clearly to guarantee that the law is implemented correctly.

He also argued that legalizing construction violations should not constitute a licence to build on agricultural land.

"Article 26 of the constitution stipulates that the government should take all measures necessary to protect agricultural land from illegal construction violations," said Gebaly.

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