CAIRO - 21 December 2022: The House of Representatives’ (HOR) Monday session sparked debate due to the discussion of a proposed bill on amending some articles of Law 30 of 1975 on the Suez Canal Authority system which calls for transforming the authority into an independent fund.
Even though the bill has only attained initial agreement from the HOR, and still has to undergo additional hearings and procedures before being officially approved and passed, it was used to promote corruption allegations against the government and the HOR.
Speaker of House of Representatives, Hanafy El-Gebaly, commented on the issue during Tuesday’s session, where he shut down speculations regarding selling the Suez Canal, emphasizing that Egypt is forever bound to protect, develop and sustain the canal as an international waterway.
“Selling, renting and investing by the proposed Suez Canal fund generally conforms to the nature of all other funds and doesn’t, in any way, threaten the sovereignty of the Suez Canal, as it’s a public property that can’t be given up” El-Gebaly affirmed..
El-Gebaly's statement comes in line with Article 43 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the state is committed to protecting, developing, and preserving the Suez Canal as an international waterway owned by it, and obliges it to develop the canal sector, as it is a distinguished economic center.
Furthermore, he emphasized that the HOR is doing the best it can to thoroughly examine proposed laws in a way that prioritizes the benefit of both Egypt and Egyptians, and that it will never release any legislation contradicting the Egyptian law.
The proposed bill aims to establish a fund belonging to the authority in order to increase its capabilities to contribute to achieving sustainable economic development and make use of the fund's money, as well as enabling the fund to purchase, sell, hire, increase capital, and exploit assets in the best way. It also aims to enable the authority to deal with crises and emergency conditions resulting from exceptional circumstances and bad economic conditions.
Moreover, the amendment aims at enabling the authority to perform its economic and investment activities and increase its capital and investments in securities.
For his part, Chairman of the Suez Canal authority, Osama Rabie, argues that in light of the current economic conditions the world is witnessing, and given the challenges facing the Suez Canal including the decline in global trade rates as an impact of the repercussions of the Coronavirus, the fluctuation of crude oil prices and its repercussions on the costs of shipping various commodities and goods, it’s extremely important for the HOR to approve such a bill.
Moreover, he pointed out that resources of the fund won’t affect the financial surpluses the authority contributes to the general budget, and that the excess money remaining with the authority after paying off the general budget’s share will be used to invest in global projects during the next period.