Cabinet approves draft law on development of Sinai

The cabinet approved a draft law on Wednesday concerning the development of industry and infrastructure in Sinai, and the transfer of population to the peninsula. The draft has yet to be submitted to the ruling military council for endorsement.

According to the draft, the government aims to form a national authority in Sinai to manage development projects. The authority would be comprised of representatives from 16 different ministries as well as Sinai Bedouins and youth representatives.

It also aims to improve the living standards of the Sinai residents by building a city of a million inhabitants east of Port Said, cultivating 400,000 acres along the al-Salam Canal, and developing the Gulf of Suez and Valley of Technology Project.

The draft restricts property ownership in Sinai to Egyptian individuals and corporations. Foreigners inheriting property there will not be allowed to manage it without prior approval from the authorities.

Projects would be offered on a usufruct basis for a maximum of 99 years that could be inherited but not owned, and the authority may annul the contracts of projects that have violated rules established by the draft law.

The law stipulates that an authority-affiliated judicial committee be formed to consider disputes over projects. Investors would be prohibited from resorting to international arbitration.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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