Economic experts, human rights activists and members of the parliament disapprove the program of public assets management

November 30th, 2008 by Editor

 

  At the end of a workshop entitled ” The program of public assets management ” which was held by “Egyptian Organization For Human Rights “(EOHR) on Thursday 27/11/2008 , a number of members of People’s Assembly  , human rights activists and a group of experts and academics who are specialist in   economy  turn down the program of public assets management as it is considered a return to a privatization process but in a guise of social justice , the program – as they describe  -doesn’t help to save the management of public sector assets  , also it doesn’t support the efforts of economic development  . 

 

 

 

Mr. Hafez  Abu Seada ,secretary general of EOHR , clarified that 

the program of public assets management which has been stipulated by the National Democratic Party  (NDP ) raised several opinions between supporter  and opponent  , so this workshop was held to evaluate the program and to show its goals , causes ,consequences and effects expected now and in the future .

 

Abu Seada raised several questions about the program as follows :

  

First :Are all beneficiary individuals  will be given the same number of shares ?

  

Second : How to determine the shares of those who are less than “21 years ” ?

 

 

Third : How the company involved be evaluated in this program?

And who guarantee that the evaluation submitted by the government is true ? .

 

Fourth : Does the implementation of the idea will be restricted to a limited number of public business sector companies? Or it will be extended to the oil sector ?

 

 

And if we assume that the program will be confined to the public sector companies , so why the government admits  the rights of citizens in these companies and exclude their rights from oil companies ? Is it because the oil sector did not know the losses?!! .

Abu Seada  called for a social dialogue confirming that the program is discussed  at the absence of popular participation , in view of the fact that the parliament doesn’t represent the whole of Egyptian people categories , so how can we assure to the discussion of the  program , adding that the application of the proposed program will raise a real crisis when the shares are distributed the matter which led to a  real change to  the public fund .

 

   

The workshop was initiated by the speech of Dr. Mohamed Omran , vice-chairman of stock exchange , who confirmed that the circumstances of companies have been enhanced  since Dr. Mahmoud Mohy took charge of the Ministry of Investment in 2004 , as the net profits of the public sector was 604 millions L.E and in 2008 the net profit was about 5 billions L.E .He added that 7 companies only were privatized in the past four years as the aim of privatization is  to increase the efficiency of  the  public sector companies .He pointed out that the ministry’s suggestion to transfer the public assets to people aims at distributing equal shares and  the number of companies are 153 , however there are some companies were excluded duo to its casualties .

 

Omran clarified that there are three establishments  that will be set for the program :

 

First : Future Generation Fund  

Second: New holding company that takes charge of the process .

Third : The Egyptian organization for assets management .

 

 

As for his part , Mr. Abdul Hamid Ibrahim , senior consultants of Ministry of Investment ,confirmed that the program has no relation with the current  international financial crisis , as the goal  to stipulate this program is to increase the numbers of stockholders in the public sector companies , and the citizens who hold these shares shall participate in the general assemblies for these companies . He indicated that these shares are similar for all .

 

 

Unlike the views of the governmental  side , there has been a rejection among participants ,as Dr. Abdul Al Hamid Al Ghazaly , professor of economy  at Cairo University , confirmed that the principle is unacceptable because we are talking about the quarter of the owned production units , then this sector should be reconstructed and improved efficiently and there should be a separation between government and the administration .

 

 

Al Ghazaly indicated that the proceeds of privatization is about 50 billions L.E according to Central Auditing Organization , while it is supposed to be 275 billions L.E , so the goal of the program is devoting the  monopolization  among the hands of a few exploiters , however it is a fraud process to cover up the theft of the public fund .

 

 

Mr. Abu Al Ezz Al Hariry , former member of the parliament , agreed with Al Ghazaly opinion that the procedures of the government are not legal ,he said that  we are facing a group deal conclusively with the state illegally as we have 180 billions $ deposited abroad as a result of the sale .

 

 

Dr. Ahmed Sabet , professor of political science ,added that  the program will be passed despite the popular rejection  like the constitutional amendments .He confirmed that most of laws approved by People’s Assembly are unconstitutional . Production instruments are owned by people while the government is authorized to manage not to own them  .He added that the destiny of this program will come to  failure in the view of the undemocratic political environment .He pointed that the democratic  experience (the experience of Margaret Thatcher e.g) failed to transferring some assets to British citizens and then returned again to the State.

 

Mr. Saad Hagras , vice –editor in chief of Al Alam Al Youm newspaper expressed his worries on submitting the program to People’s Assembly like other laws , he declared his absolute denial for this program . It opens the door before several questions  of the   public opinion , as well as the desire to involve citizens  in the issue of the stalled privatization passage as it will be used as an analyst not a popular  transferor .

 

 Dr. Mostafa Kamel Al Sayed , professor of political science at Cairo university , confirmed that the case of public assets management has been  stipulated recently as it is considered a case of concern to the public opinion because it represents a public property case , but the main problem is that it was issued by unselected  persons . Is This trend will help to  increase the national economy and are these assets will be monopolized by certain group of capitalists ? ,he asked .

 

 

Mr. Talal Shokr , former laborers  secretary at Al Tagamou party , astonished by the idea of generation fund as he described it by a fund for cheating generations .

 

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