Business changes in the new constitution

According to the latest report issued by Egypt’s business directory, on 2 September, businessmen and investors can expect to see several changes in the new constitution draft vis-à-vis the 2012 constitution.

The report, titled “Doing business under Egypt’s new constitution”, discussed the important constitutional amendments that will affect the business regulations in Egypt. Some articles were somewhat similar aside from minimal changes in arrangement and meaning while others were removed.

Article 23 in the new constitution stressed that the national economy aims to develop economic activity and promote investment, which was not mentioned in the 14th article in the 2012 constitution.

In the 2012 constitution, articles which discussed business sectors in Egypt such as agriculture, industry and tourism, namely Articles 15 and 17, were provided in a more general format in Article 25 in the 2013 draft.

The new constitution states that private properties are inviolable and has a function in the service of the national economy without deviation or “abuse”, compared to the term “monopoly” in the 2012 constitution. The 2013 draft also removed the mention that all of the private property functions shall be regulated by law.

Changes in the taxation system were also made in the new draft with it adding that the payment of taxes along with other public finance duties is a “duty according to the law”.

Worker rights went through some changes as well. The new draft added that the protection of enterprise’s assets as “a civil duty”.

The 2013 draft also removed the limit on worker representation in the business unit board member committee but maintained the minimum representation, which is 50%.

Articles 26 and 27, which discuss the Egyptian water resources in the constitutional draft, are equal to articles 19 and 20 in the 2012 official one.  Articles 21 and 22 also address and tackle the same property and public funds rules and regulations in the 2013 clauses numbered 28 and 29.

Article 33 in the new draft stated that saving is a “national duty protected” and encouraged by the state. This is a slight change from Article 28, the 2012 constitution equivalent, which read: “Saving is encouraged and protected by the state” and added that the “state shall also safeguard insurance and pension funds, in accordance to legal regulations.”

Article 29 and 30 in the 2012 constitution are exactly similar to articles 34 and 35 in the 2013 draft.

Article 16 of the 2012 constitution was cancelled. The article had denoted that the state is commitment to developing the countryside, desert and will work to raise the standard of living of the farmers and the people in the desert.

Article 25 was also cancelled. The annulled clause read that the state is committed to reviving and encouraging the system of charitable endowments in the way they are established, managed, investments and distributions and shall be regulated by law.

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