Egypt cautions against privatization of public service enterprises
Although the Egyptian Assistant Minister of Public Business Sector, Sabri Ajlan, recently stated that the public business sector has benefited a great deal from the country’s privatization scheme, Egyptian businessmen have recently cautioned against the privatization of various public service sectors, according to the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily. They claimed that such a move would have a detrimental affect on several related sectors upon which many local limited-income families depend.
Addressing a symposium of “Evaluating the Privatization Scheme,” these businessmen called for the restructuring of the country’s current privatization program. They demanded that privatization schemes be based on all available technical expertise so as to make the program a success. In addition, they proposed the establishment of a new supervising body to oversee and monitor the performance of privatized enterprises.
The implementation of the privatization program has led to an increase in revenues of the public business sector from 42 million Egyptian pounds ($10.8 million) in 1994 to EP 3.5 billion presently. Thirty percent of companies that were privatized have reported increased profits, whereas the remainding 70 percent earned either marginal profits or incurred losses.
Revenues from the program, through which 180 firms were sold to the private sector, totaled EP 15.8 billion. –(MENA Report)
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