Egypt to re-nationalise six agricultural companies

Ahram Online, Wednesday 14 Dec 2011

Further rolling back privatization, Prime Minister El-Ganzouri is set to return six land reclamation companies to the public sector

Egyptian new Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian Interim Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri is close to deciding to re-nationalise six land reclamation companies (Al-Aqaria, Al-Aamma, Al-Bohera, Kom-Ombo, Al-Arabia, Rigoa), according to the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Reda Ismail, who spoke Tuesday on the issue.

The companies would be controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation via a public sector holding company under its umbrella. 

Ismail explained that the re-nationalisation, which is expected within days, will protect some 20,000 workers who have wished for the decision since the companies were privatised in 1995.

“This is a good choice for these companies, as a way to settle debts accumulated under privatisation and which exceeded LE1.7 billion,” Reda told reporters.

More than 500,000 feddans of reclamation lands will be distributed to young graduates.

The minister underlined that the inclusion of the companies to work under the umbrella of the Ministry of Agriculture will not cost additionally burden the state’s budget as loans will be provided from either the National Investment Bank or the Agricultural Development Bank at low rates of interest.

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