Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Mursi to Stop Sale of Public Companies

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said on Tuesday in light of Labour Day celebrations that the government will halt its privatisation policy and will not sell any more public companies.

"There will be no more selling of the public sector," Mursi told workers in Helwan in a telvised speech on Tuesday.

Egypt undertook its privatisation programme in 1991 under ousted president Hosni Mubarak. After his overthrow, the privitsation plans were brought to a standstill.

The privatisation programme was accused of creating monopolies, increasing prices and corruption. Courts have annulled several sales of public companies.

Mursi stressed that there are not any alternatives to modernization and development of the public sector and boosting its efficiency.

"Our plans do not target just maintaining the workers' jobs, but to also provide thousands of job opportunities within three years."

He added that his government aims at developing the iron and steel industry and doubling its capacity.

Mursi pointed to the role of the late President Gamal AbdelNasser in building the industrial complex and establishing a national strategic industry.

"We have to produce our own food, medicine and weapons," he said, urging the workers to increase their productivity during his visit to the Iron and Steel Complex in Helwan.

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