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CAIRO, August 19, 2018 (MENA) - The Egyptian Mint Authority is working on a project to locally manufacture metal plates for vehicles to replace imported equivalents and save hard currency.

The project will also help create new jobs for youth, the Finance Ministry said in a statement Sunday.


Emerging from a meeting with chairman of the Mint Authority Abdel Raouf el Ahmedi, an advisor to the finance minister said that about 600 kilograms of aluminium have already been manufactured and tested at European factories to guarantee high quality.

The experiment was successful and the Mint Authority is currently working on some technical points, said Sherif Hazem.

The project will allow the export of these plates to the Arab world and Africa, Hazem added.

An initial feasibility study has already been conducted, said Ahmedi, noting that it shows the cost of and expected revenues from the project.

The local manufacturing of plates is expected to help save between 25 to 30 per cent of expenses, Ahmedi explained.

CAIRO, August 19, 2018 (News Wires) — Egypt says researchers have determined the gender and age of the three skeletons found inside a black granite sarcophagus uncovered in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in July.

Nadia Kheider, of the Antiquities Ministry, says Sunday the skeletons belong to a woman in her early 20s, a man in his late 30s and a man in his early 40s.

Chief researcher Zeinab Hasheesh says one of the skulls has a cavity indicating a "surgical intervention." Mostafa Waziri, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says researchers found gold inside some of the bones.

The 2,000-year-old sarcophagus, which was filled with red fluid, created a stir on social media. The ministry says the red fluid was sewage water.

CAIRO, August 19, 2018 (MENA) - Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli gave on Sunday directives for the activatation of the central operations room at the cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) during Eid el- Adha (feast of sacrifice) vacation to deal with any emergency or violation.

The operations room will follow up the availability of basic commodities in markets and ensure that all needed services are being provided to citizens in an appropriate way, a statement by the cabinet's media centre said.

The central operations room will be in constant contact with the other operations rooms in different ministries to address any problem that might emerge during  Eid el Adha vacation.

The room works round the clock and includes representatives of the ministries of defence, interior, supply, electricity, transport, local development, health, social solidarity, aviation and tourism.

CAIRO, Aug 19, 20l8 (MENA) - Planning Minister Hala el Saeed said on Sunday the drafting of a national strategy for developing capabilities of civil servants has been finalised.

The 2018-2022 strategy includes five packages of training courses targeting 300,000 junior State employees, the minister said in a statement.

The strategy comes as part of the State efforts to improve the capabilities of civil servants to cope up with changes in the labour market and create an effective administrative apparatus characterised by transparency, flexibility and integrity.

For leading administrative posts, the minister said there is another training course targeting these brackets in 33 ministries starting from the post of general director.

By the Gazette Editorial Board

The government confused the public when it did not pave the way for the application of a property tax law, which had been shelved since it was ratified in 20l3.

So, real-estate owners found themselves required, overnight, to rush to real estate tax departments to enquire about their status, to see whether they should pay the  tax or they would be exempted according to what the law stipulates. And the government had been warning of a fine if the tax-payers failed to show up within the government's short-term notice.

Under the law, a unit whose market price is less than LE2,000,000 and which the owner uses as a residence,  is regarded tax-free. Yet, the government has been urging citizens to head to tax departments to fill in applications to state such ownership!

If owners across the country had responded to this appeal, tax departments would  never have been able to cope with the crowds that turned up.

The government had earlier started with coastal units to collect the due property tax retrospectively. The state indeed has the right to impose taxes on luxury summer resorts, but there is no logic in collecting the tax required for five years (from 20l3-20l8) all at once just because the government woke up to the fact that a forgotten law should be enforced.

As a result of the emerging confusion and the low tax proceeds collected, the minister of finance had to extend the deadline for two more months. Moreover, the cabinet has also agreed to amend the law so that the current estimate of the units' market price, which was supposed to be changed as of 20l9, would be applied for other two years.

This simply means that the government had not studied details of the law and the consequences of its application well before deciding to put it into effect.

The fact is that the government has no survey of the country's real estate wealth. And there have been many questions as to the means and mechanism of assessing the market price of millions of units throughout the country. The intended amendments will, therefore, address many defects that occurred after the application of the law in order to facilitate the process of tax collection and secure a fair taxation system.

The property tax law has raised controversy since it was first suggested during the Mubarak rule.  And the government should have known better than to take a hasty step in matters that have to do with putting an extra financial burden on  citizens, especially on the middle class strata, which are already suffering the punch of the high cost of living.

The government should work on creating an accurate database on the available property before asking for taxes.

The government confused the public when it did not pave the way for the application of a property tax law, which had been shelved since it was ratified in 20l3.

So, real-estate owners found themselves required, overnight, to rush to real estate tax departments to enquire about their status, to see whether they should pay the  tax or they would be exempted according to what the law stipulates. And the government had been warning of a fine if the tax-payers failed to show up within the government's short-term notice.

Under the law, a unit whose market price is less than LE2,000,000 and which the owner uses as a residence,  is regarded tax-free. Yet, the government has been urging citizens to head to tax departments to fill in applications to state such ownership!

If owners across the country had responded to this appeal, tax departments would  never have been able to cope with the crowds that turned up.

The government had earlier started with coastal units to collect the due property tax retrospectively. The state indeed has the right to impose taxes on luxury summer resorts, but there is no logic in collecting the tax required for five years (from 20l3-20l8) all at once just because the government woke up to the fact that a forgotten law should be enforced.

As a result of the emerging confusion and the low tax proceeds collected, the minister of finance had to extend the deadline for two more months. Moreover, the cabinet has also agreed to amend the law so that the current estimate of the units' market price, which was supposed to be changed as of 20l9, would be applied for other two years.

This simply means that the government had not studied details of the law and the consequences of its application well before deciding to put it into effect.

The fact is that the government has no survey of the country's real estate wealth. And there have been many questions as to the means and mechanism of assessing the market price of millions of units throughout the country. The intended amendments will, therefore, address many defects that occurred after the application of the law in order to facilitate the process of tax collection and secure a fair taxation system.

The property tax law has raised controversy since it was first suggested during the Mubarak rule.  And the government should have known better than to take a hasty step in matters that have to do with putting an extra financial burden on  citizens, especially on the middle class strata, which are already suffering the punch of the high cost of living.

The government should work on creating an accurate database on the available property before asking for taxes.

 CAIRO, August 18, 2018 - Minister of Investment and International Co-operation Sahar Nasr and Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Yasmin Fouad met on Saturday members of a World Bank (WB) delegation in Cairo to discuss co-operation, especially in the field of environment.

Nasr underscored the importance of WB support for environmental projects in Egypt.

She referred to co-operation between her ministry and the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs in this regard.

Discussions during the meeting especially focused on the technical support grants that the WB could offer to the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs.

Those attending the meeting also reviewed the preliminary results of a study on the effects means of sustainable transport have on the air quality.

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