Egypt’s Cabinet approves Sinai Development Law amendments
Cabinet spokesperson Hossam el-Qaweesh - YOUM7

CAIRO: The Cabinet has approved a presidential draft law amending the Sinai Development Law; issued in 2012 to regulate investment projects, ownership and use of lands in the peninsula.

“The amendments aimed at avoiding legal disputes with the investors,” Cabinet spokesperson Hossam el-Qaweesh was quoted as saying in a statement by Youm7.

“The draft law included extending the usufruct clause to be 50 years instead of 30 with a possibility of extension to 75 years along with inheritance rights,” Qaweesh said.

Issued by Prime Minster Decree 959 of 2012, the Law established the National Authority for Sinai Development. The law also calls upon the cabinet to determine the governmental authorities that are concerned with the development and management of activities in Sinai.

Amendments included article 2 restricting the ownership of properties in Sinai to only Egyptians born of Egyptian parents or owned by companies entirely owned by Egyptians.

According to the new draft law, in case a foreign investor who own land dies, his heirs shall transfer the ownership to an Egyptian, with retaining the usufruct rights for a period of six months as a maximum before the Egyptian government buys it.

As for Egyptians of dual nationality, their heirs are entitled to own the land even if they were of dual nationalities.

The president, as per the amendment, is entitled to allow foreigners to own more than 45 percent of a company’s shares, on condition that the company that implements integrated development projects.

The president may exempt cities, part of cities, coastal areas, development project of Suez Canal axis and special economic zones from the provisions of Sinai Development law.

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