By Mohamed Ayyad and Moustafa Fahmy
Minister of Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said that in two weeks President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will ratify a law allowing the General Authority For Reconstruction Projects and Agricultural Development to allocate agricultural lands through direct order as part of government efforts to speed up procedures and improve the business environment by completing licensing procedures over a short period.
He added that the cabinet approved the law and submitted it to the president last week, and is not awaiting regulations to be set for the allocation process. The regulations mainly involve respect for prices and payment terms as well as priority for granting pre-emption rights.
The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) signed a cooperation protocol with the New Urban Communities Authority recently which granted the IDA the right to allocate lands and grant technical approvals, allowing investors to deal with just one body in order to obtain lands.
Despite the protocol, the Industrial Development Authority is still subject to Law No. 89 of 1998 which pertains to bids and tenders. This law hinders the process of direct-order land allocation for investors, and stands in the way of factories expanding onto neighbouring lands. The industry law has been modified to allow the IDA to allocate lands through direct order, according to Abdel Nour.