Egypt’s parliament approves bill on cashless payment

CAIRO, EGYPT - FEBRUARY 13: Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel-Al (R) delivers a speech next to Egyptian President Abdel Fettah al-Sisi (L) during the new legislation opening session at the House of Representatives in Cairo, Egypt on February 13, 2016. Pool / Egyptian Presidency / Anadolu Agency

Egypt’s House of Representatives has approved a draft law submitted by the government to regulate the use of cashless means of payment.

This after a joint report of the Economic Affairs Committee, the Plan and Budget Committee, and the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee.

The text of the bill obliges all authorities, state institutions, and companies owned or partially owned by state to pay financial dues by means of non-cash payment, except for travel allowances.

The draft law stipulates that the collection of taxes, customs, duties, fines, services and amounts due to entities, cash financing premiums, insurance premiums, trade union subscriptions, private insurance fund contributions and the value of contribution or subscription to corporate capital or investment funds of all kinds, shall be through cashless payment methods.

The session saw a re-deliberation of Article 8, at the request of MP Mohamed al-Suwaidi, on the fine imposed by the law which stipulates that not less than one percent of the amount should be paid in cash, not exceeding LE1 million.

The MP requested the ratio to paid in cash to be between 2-10 percent, which would set controls to address the problems of money laundering.

The representative of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) objected by saying that this rate was already applied in some countries, such as India, and caused problems.

The session ended with approval of Suwaidi’s suggestion, setting the fine at 2-10 percent.

The Prime Minister may, upon the request of the Minister of Finance and the approval of the Governor of the Central Bank and the Cabinet, exclude some geographic regions from the application of this law for a specified period of time for national security reasons or other emergency situations.

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