The Economic Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives completed discussions on 10 articles of the consumer protection draft law submitted by the government.
The government submitted 85 articles for the draft law, which target to increase the Consumer Protection Agency’s (CPA) specialities in the coming period.
The transfer of the CPA to the cabinet was approved so the monitoring of the authority and its lack of independence will be lifted, as compared to when it was under the authority of the Ministry of Supply, according to member of parliament Medhat El-Sherif, a member of the committee.
He added that the committee obliged the government to provide offices for the CPA in several governorates and increase the number of employees in order to tighten controls on the market—which is experiencing a state of unpredictability during the recent period with respect to prices.
He explained that the number of branches of the agency requires that its allocations be increased, estimated at EGP 2m currently.
Another MP in the committee, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the CPA requested that its financial allocations be increased to EGP 75m during the preparation of the general budget for the current fiscal year, but the Ministry of Supply rejected the request
The MP added that there are some state authorities that were willing to weaken the CPA during the recent period; however, the market requires the CPA to have a strong presence following the liberation of the exchange rate, and the fuel price hikes at the beginning of November.
He said there will be cooperation between the CPA and civil society organisations with regards to controlling markets—the new draft law will stipulate that the CPA must provide support to consumer protection associations.
El-Sherif said the committee has not yet agreed on the forms of support for consumer protection organisations to work within an institutional framework.
He added that the committee bears huge obligations with respect to discussing other draft laws, which will delay finalising the consumer protection law quickly.