Freedom and Justice Party MPs reaffirmed that the party’s priorities, with respect to the economy, is the elimination of financial corruption, providing job opportunities for the unemployed, economic development, solving problems that affect the citizens – especially the gas crisis, and increasing foreign currency resources – especially revenues from tourism and the Suez Canal, as well as addressing gaps in economic legislation that drive away investment.
In a special statement, the MP Mohamed Awad explained that the first file to be opened under the dome of parliament is the investigation and elimination of corruption, which will provide job opportunities for unemployed youth, estimated at about 12 million nationwide.
Awad noted that, in this regard, parliament will consider the issue of factories closed in the past, with an eye to re-opening and supporting them in light of strong competition within the market, which will offer employment opportunities and local products within the domestic market.
Further, Awad stressed that one of the problems that must be dealt with and solved immediately is the problem of the so-called ‘domestic gas cylinders’, where 16 billion Egyptian pounds (about $2.7 billion) are paid in gas subsidies, which do not reach the citizen. Hence, the network delivering gas to people’s homes must be expanded, and strict controls must be imposed on gas plants.
MP Aladdin Khalifa spoke of ways to combat rampant corruption that the previous regime allowed to permeate society, stressing that this fight will succeed through equitable distribution of domestic production as well as continuous and comprehensive development, in addition to assessing fund-generating ministries’ real inputs such as the Ministry of Health, Petroleum, Agriculture and other ministries which bring in incomes with obscure figures.
Khalifa explained that revolutionizing productivity and taking advantage of existing resources within the State will be achieved through restructuring of the economy and exploitation of agricultural land as detailed in the party’s economic plan proposed for the year 2012-2013.
For his part, MP Amr Zaki stated that FJP MPs’ main priority will be to achieve comprehensive development as a first step towards economic stability, since foreign investors await stability before pumping money into the local market.
Zaki underlined the need to achieve balance in the distribution of national income at the level of Egypt’s 27 governorates, because development is based on comprehensive and equitable distribution to all the citizens of Egypt.
MP Ahmed Sayed Shehata explained that available resources will be re-used and put to good use, through the recovery of the real value of the land stolen by corrupt businessmen, as well as modification of the prices of natural gas currently exported to Israel at below market prices, where world prices will be applied.
Shehata added that: “The second issue that should be raised in parliament is that of subsidies. These should benefit people who deserve support and subsidies”, noting that all this would take place through comprehensive and sustainable development by raising the standard of state resources for generating income such as tourism and the Suez Canal.
Shehata pointed that a proposal will be made to establish a free zone on both sides of the Suez Canal to generate income, besides the exploitation of neglected agricultural land - such as lands with mines. “Proposed solutions will be made to disarm or remove those mines and reclaim these lands. Also, legislation will be proposed with respect to Zakat and Waqf revenue, a matter which is related to Islamic economics,” he added.
According to Dr. Sami Salama Noaman, a member of the People's Assembly, the most urgent economic issues will be: addressing legal loopholes in the Egyptian economy, such as the Investment Law-VIII for the year 1997 and the laws of investment guarantees and incentives, as well as economic legislation like the law for competition protection, prevention of monopolistic practices, consumer protection law and some economic legislation which may be out-dated. “There is legislation dating back to the fifties, like fines for operating a plant without a license – which amount to only fifty Egyptian pounds, as well as intellectual property protection laws, tax evasion and public property protection laws,” he added.