The cabinet has referred the draft sukuk law to the newly-appointed Finance Minister Al-Morsy Hegazy to be reviewed in coordination with the ministries of investment and justice, the grand mufti of Al-Azhar, the Shura Council, the Islamic studies congregation and Dar Al-Iftaa.
Sfter revision the draft law will be sent back to the cabinet in time for consideration in its meeting next Wednesday.
Ahmed El-NAjjar, the reporter of the economic committee at the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), stated that the party welcomed the appointment of Hegazy to manage the sukuk law saying the party is confident in the minister’s capacity to understand the law and its technicalities, reported Al-Borsa.
El-Najjar said the minister will be in charge of merging the draft laws into one before submitting it to the Shura council to be deliberated in next week’s session, adding that the merger will help fill the gaps discovered in each of them, to create a unified law applicable to all and conforming to Islamic Shari’a.
He confirmed that the draft law proposed by the FJP will be sent to the minister in accordance with the cabinet’s decision.
The government plans to rely on the Sukuk law to mobilise considerable funds to bridge a the budget deficit. The finance ministry said it has received $6bn in offers for sukuk offerings, according to the Mubasher website.
Last week a draft of the corporate sukuk law was sent to the finance ministry by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) to be examined by parliament. It was put forward by EFSA and assigned by the government. Its main purpose is to organise the financing of firms and private institutions.
Sukuk are Islamic bonds, defined by the draft law as nominal financial instruments of equal value representing a common share in the property of assets, services or projects as outlined by the public offering bulletin, in compliance with Islamic Shari’a rulings.
The sovereign sukuk law is intended to organise the financing of the government, state budget, national projects and public institutions. It was released by the government but opposed by Al-Azhar and Islamic parties.
The jurisprudential studies committee in the Islamic studies congregation affiliated to Al-Azhar has twice refused the law as it was deemed harmful to the economy and the country’s national security. It was also considered detrimental to the rights of future generations because it would allow the ownership of sukuk by foreigners and would open the door for the manipulation of fixed assets without real regulation.
Asraf ElSharkawy the head of EFSA, has said last week it is up to parliament to merge the two proposed laws.