6 March 2014

Egypt: PM Rules Out Privatization Plans

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb asserted that the government was determined to restructure State coffers and develop assets of strategic industries such as iron and steel, Mahala weaving factories and others, ruling out any plans for privatization.

Addressing a gathering for representatives of workers of Mahala textiles and weaving companies, Mehleb reiterated that the success of any economic reform plan mainly depends on the Egyptian workers.

He also highlighted the importance of qualifying workers to be able to use the latest industrial technologies, noting that human resources are the backbone of the Egyptian economy.

Mehleb asserted that any mega development process will be launched from the industrial city of al-Mahla al-Kobra, one of the important castles of the Egyptian industry.

He said the problems that have been facing the textiles and weaving sector are probably caused by negligence in the upgrading of equipment and mismanagement.

He also pledged to fight corruption and bribery, asserting that Egypt faces giant problems in the sanitary drainage, housing, education and many other sectors.

Mehleb also said he pins great hopes on the honesty, patriotism and hard work of the Egyptian workers to push forward the Egyptian economy.

Mehleb said the State has outlined proposals for settling the financial and administrative problems facing the textiles and weaving sector in view of its great weight in the national economy along with the public business sector.

The country is resolved to take big strides in settling critical problems such as power and fuel shortages, he said. The subsidy bill costs the State 300 billion Egyptian pounds, he said, meaning that most of that amount is wasted on undeserving people and companies.

He asserted that subsidies will be restructured to face the problem of rising poverty rates, promising that salary increases will continue.

The premier announced that workers of al-Mahala carpets will be cashing their salaries on Sunday 9/3/2014, with a 220 pound increase for each worker.

Mehleb explained that Egypt is facing a tough dilemma as 25 per cent of its 700 billion-valued budget is allocated for subsidies, the second quarter goes for wages, the third for paying loan interests, while the remaining 160 billion pounds are supposed to finance education, health, sanitary drainage and other basic services.

During his visit to Gharbia governorate on Wednesday 5/3/2014, Mehleb said that the government attaches great importance to the public enterprise sector.

There is no intention to sold the public enterprise sector, he went on to affirm.

He also said that he is keen on getting acquainted with the problems facing al-Mahalla workers, adding that he will meet the reasonable demands of workers.

The country will be built by the Egyptian people, he said.

Egypt was hit by a wave of strikes and protests over the past years, Mehleb said, urging the workers to unite and put the nation's interest above any other considerations.

People must not wait for a savior who has a magic wand for no one, however powerful and popular, can change the situation in Egypt without the commitment of all, he added.

Mehleb also promised to solve the cotton problem within four months.

It is not a time to stage protests but it is a time for real hard work and production, he added.

He further said that he is ready to visit Mahalla within two or three weeks.

He, meanwhile, said that workers at Damanhour Carpets Company and Mahalla Company will get their salaries next Sunday.

Mehleb also pointed out to the role of the Armed Forces over the past and current period.

He stressed the importance of the youths' role within the upcoming period.

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