Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egypt approves law change to allow sale, lease of Suez Canal’s assets

December 20, 2022 at 1:12 pm

Admiral Osama Rabie, Chairman and Managing Director of the Suez Canal Authority checking the Floatation Works of the Grounding Vessel in the Suez Canal on 25 March 2021 [Suez Canal Media Center]

The Egyptian Parliament yesterday approved a draft law amending some articles of Law 30 of 1975 on the Suez Canal Authority.

The amendment aims at establishing a fund belonging to the Suez Canal Authority and increasing its capabilities to contribute to achieving sustainable economic development and make use of the fund’s money to purchase, sell, hire and exploit assets in the best way.

It also aims to enable the Suez Canal Authority to deal with crises and emergency conditions resulting from exceptional circumstances and bad economic conditions and increase its capital and investments in securities.

However, lawmakers have criticised the paragraph which would allow the fund to sell or lease the authority’s assets, with a parliamentarian likening the amendment to a draft bill put forward in the 1970s to sell the pyramids of Giza.

A lawmaker of the New Wafd party, Mohammed Abdel-Alim Daoud, said during the voting session, that establishing the fund is tantamount to emptying Egypt of its money, and converting public money into private money which represent an imminent danger to the state.

“This is the Suez Canal owned by the Egyptian people, and not a public sector company that is sold at the lowest price,” he added.

A representative of the Egyptian Democratic Party, Ihab Mansour, said the party rejects the draft law, adding that the “lack of a unified budget is one of the main defects affecting the state’s general financial policy.

OPINION: Remembering the Suez Crisis and the tripartite invasion of Egypt