Egypt Independent

Agriculture Ministry proposes new rules for state-owned land deals

Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained a copy of a

n Agriculture Ministry proposal recently submitted to the Council of Ministers on orders from President Hosni Mubarak for new regulations governing usufruct agreements on state-owned land.

The proposed regulations aim to put an end to attempts by investors to hoard land without completing agreed-upon agricultural projects in hopes of selling it later at marked-up prices.

The new regulations would reduce the maximum duration of a usufruct concession granted on arable land after 2006 from 49 years to 25 years. They would also raise fees for land already under cultivation by 10 percent and levy additional fees on lands not yet under cultivation.

The ministry proposal notes that the number of violations of state-owned land concession agreements had increased in recent years.

After studying the proposal, the Council of Ministers is expected to submit it to parliament for approval.

According to official sources, the government is currently in the process of "correcting" past mistakes by allowing land originally granted for agricultural purposes to be earmarked for tourist resort projects.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.