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Les dernières découvertes
Sauvons les momies royales !
Dieux : origines et natures
Egypt and Sudan have agreed to strengthen military coordination to prevent smuggling on their shared border, Sudanese Minister of Investment Mustafa Othman Ismail told Ashorooq net Sunday.
Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi met Saturday with Ismail in Cairo for discussing bilateral relations between both countries, Youm7 reported.
The meeting discussed the opening of two border crossings: Ashkit-Qasstal set for opening in mid-August, and Arqin set for opening at the end of this year.
Ashkit was originally set for opening in mid-July according to Sudanese Foreign Minister Salah Onsi, MENA reported on July 11.
Two new international roads were paved for the crossings: the 929-kilometer Ashkit-Halfa-Khartoum Road and the 352-kilometer Donqul-Arqin road.
On June 26, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi visited Khartoum to meet his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir to discuss bilateral relations.
Trade volume between Egypt and Sudan increased to 839 million EGP ($117.33 million) in 2013 compared with 772 million EGP in 2012, recording an 8.7 percent increase according to statistics from the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce on March 20.
Halaib and Shalateen crisis
Despite publicly cordial relations, Egypt and Sudan have actually been locked in a border dispute over the Red Sea Halaib Triangle area since Sudanese independence in 1956. Sudan claims the area, but it is under Egyptian Administration.
On May 6, 2014, a Sudanese military force entered the Mrabetya area in Halaib, claiming to be defending the “sovereignty of Sudan,” CNN reported. However, the Egyptian army deployed military forces in the area, causing Sudanese troops to withdraw, Youm7 reported.
The Halaib Triangle is a 20 square kilometer enclave on the Red Sea coast occupied by tribes from both Egypt and Sudan who lived there before the demarcation of the borders.
The triangle is rich with magnesium deposits.
By SARA OSAMA SHOUREAP
CAIRO: Minister of Finance Hany Qadry issues decrees that will destroy investments in Egypt and its economy, founder of Free Egyptians Party businessman tycoon Naguib Sawiris said in an interview on Kalam Ala Masolity program Saturday.
The government should provide a convenient climate in the market and not to scare businessmen from these decrees.
The law of imposing new taxes on capital gains is a right decision but made in the wrong time, Sawiris added and that the ministry should have waited for Egypt’s capital to revive since currently it is facing major losses.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a decree early July to amend some provisions of the Income Tax Law and Stamp Duty Law, according to a presidential statement.
This decision comes amid efforts to revive Egypt’s limping economy, which faces “tough challenges that require united efforts to protect it and reinstate confidence in it,” according to the presidential statement.
Qadry previously announced he would amend the tax system by imposing progressive taxes, wealth taxes, and real estate taxes as steps to cover the budget deficit and increase Egypt’s tax revenues.
The ministry should have held social dialogue before applying the law to know its impact on the market, Sawiris said.
The private sector in Egypt works on providing 65 to 70 percent of job opportunities in Egypt, Sawiris said, in addition to revenues they provide to the country in the form of taxes and customs that represent about 55 to 60 percent of gross national products.
“With all due respect to the state and public sector, the country is an unsuccessful manager,” Sawiris said, adding that half of those who work in public sector are “corrupt.”
During the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak, several projects were implemented, including mobile companies and cement factories that provide major labor. Mobinil and Vodafone companies used to pay 2.5 to 3 billion EGP for fees only, in addition to the taxes and customs that reached about 10 billion EGP per year.
Sawiris is one of the most prominent businessmen in Egypt, listed in Forbes magazine as the 374th richest person in the world.
Economic and human rights experts warned of the increase of burden on the poor due to the decrease in the deficit of expenditure, Al-Wafd Newspaper reported Saturday.
Experts denounced that the government does not have an economic vision for the Structure of Public Expenditure, criticizing the weak spending on education and health.
The financial policies of the public budget 2014/2015 will increase the suffering of the poor since it aims to reduce the deficiency expenditure without any social protection measures, according to a study implemented by Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights called Financial Statement of the Country’s General Budget: Austerity procedures to combat crisis at the expense of social justice.
“I cannot ratify such a budget that features more than 300 billion EGP in deficit and surges public debts to more than 2 trillion EGP,” President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said on June 20 during the graduation ceremony of a new batch of Military Academy cadet.
The study of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) included that the decrease in the deficiency does not exceed 10 percent from the total of the local production and lacks an expanded economic vision and procedures that reduce its negative effect.
Early July, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) revealed in a report that Egypt’s budget deficit was recorded at 163.3 billion EGP ($22 billion) during the current 2013/14 fiscal year, down from 183 billion EGP in 2013.
The amendments by Sisi to reduce the expected deficiency aimed to provide 48 billion EGP, according to Al-Wafd newspaper. However, they have not allocated the sum except for 5.7 billion EGP for the social security network to protect the poor and will be allocated to social insurance pensions.
Regarding the sectors of education and health, spending on health did not exceed 0.2 percent from the total local income of last year to reach 1.8 percent.
The budget of housing projects 2014/2015 reveals that the poor benefit from the allocations of housing subsidy by only 0.5 percent.
The real problem in the national program is the social housing project called “A Million Units,” EIPR expert Yehia Showkat told Al-Wafd. There is not division in the budget to spend on the three projects, which raise doubts about the government’s keenness that its allocations “contribute in achieving social justice for citizens.”
The national program for social housing is one of the largest adopted by the government, including three projects with investments worth 9.5 billion EGP.
A total of 55 percent of Egypt’s news public budget for the Fiscal Year of 2014-15 will be allocated to the social dimensions program, including health, education, scientific research, and developmental projects, Minister of Finance Hany Qadry said last June during his meeting with Ambassador of the European Union in Cairo James Moran.
Qadry announced early July that the total budget deficit rose to 13.7 percent last year 2012/2013 and it is expected to reach 12 percent during the 2013/2014 financial year.
Qadry said the most important of these policies is the redistribution of available resources in favor of the poor and low-income citizens through re-prioritization of public spending.
The increase of prices and reducing the subsidy was in light of fiscal year 2014-2015’s budget, which proposes a deficit rate of 240 billion EGP.