The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights declared that it refuses the proposal made by the Ministry of Agriculture to amend the bids and tenders bill #89 /1998. This proposal aims to come to terms on contracts of sale of state property by direct allocation during Mubarak regime. These amendments will facilitate impunity for men of the former regime who claimed property by direct allocation. Amendments propose correcting the situation by re-evaluating property price and ignore the fact that the allocation process was not just undervaluation of price, but a systematic corruption process that satisfied all criminal conditions of encroaching on public property and profiteering , a typical example of the marriage of power and money.
ECESR stated that keeping the articles of the bill unchanged not only guarantees protection of public property , but is a national imperative to allow people to recover these lands again and return them to the public assets through lawsuits challenging corrupt procedures by which direct allocation contracts were issued and allows as well claiming funds of these companies which were gained from selling state property. These funds were deposited in national and foreign banks ands stock exchanges.
Passing these amendments means granting legitimacy to these contracts and the profits resulting therefrom , preventing claiming this money in banks and stock exchanges and renders all lawsuits challenging these contracts annulled as well as all court decisions issued in the past such as that of Madinati.
The Centre said that counter-revolution manifests in this proposal, every justification presented by the Ministry of Agriculture to pass these amendments is the same as those put forward by Mubarak regime and his businessmen before the revolution to pass the same amendments. These justifications do not seek public interest but opens the door to escape punishment , waste public funds, and legalize ownership of these lands for the benefit of men of the former regime. Reconciliation over this vast area of land is encroaching on the rights of future generations.
The center said that the bill of tenders and bids committed all administrative bodies of the state: ministries , authorities and apparatus have private budgets as well as units of local administration, public municipal or economic bodies to its articles such that no contracts for sale, lease or use are to be issued except through public bidding or tender . The bill however identified a number of cases that may be contracted through direct order. These cases are defined exclusively for the protection of public funds and to give the administrative body flexibility in case of emergency , these cases are:
First: Article 30 allows direct order in specific cases (quick expiry items, emergency cases that can not afford to follow the bidding procedures – items that received no bids or bids with under value – item of value less than fifty thousand pounds).
Second: Article 31 allows for urgent cases that can not afford to follow the bidding procedures , that are contracted by direct agreement under the authority of chairman of the board or president of the stakeholders and has powers to other bodies, not exceeding value of twenty thousand pounds – the competent minister or a delegate- or the governor for values not exceeding fifty thousand pounds)
Third: Article 31 prime : bis was added as an amendment for law 148 / 2006 to correct the situation of the squatters on desert and agricultural state property before the issuance of the amendment to correct their situation, and made available to the administrative authority to directly allocate the land to reclaimers or builders with a maximum allowable area of 10 feddans for agricultural and 100 feddans for desrt property.
All three cases it allow contracting with direct order only in limited cases of necessity to protect public funds and resources, but Mubarak men wasted the law and seized massive stretches of land and made huge illegal fortunes.
The report of the state commissioners in cases of Toshka of Walid bin Talal and Palm Hills, in which Gamal Mubarak and the former minister of housing, Ahmed Al-Maghrabi are share holders as well as others close to the decision-making bodies in the era of Mubarak , recommended the invalidity of the contracts, and set April 26th , 2011 for a verdict hearing for both cases. The same hearing will include arguments for new contract for Madinati , the Egyptian-Kuwaiti co. ,Sahl Hasheesh and Cleopatra Group.