Egypt jumped 49 places in issuing building permits in the Doing Business in 2017 report, issued by the World Bank Group, to rank 64 compared to 113 in 2016.
The dealing with construction permits indicator includes the procedures of issuing the permit, time, cost, and building quality control index.
The report said that it takes 145 days to issue construction permits in Egypt, compared to 116.5 days in the Middle East and North Africa, and 152.1 days in high-income countries that are members of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD high income).
The cost of issuing construction permits for building a warehouse in Egypt is 1.6% of the warehouse’s value, as the estimated value of a warehouse in Egypt is approximately EGP 1.3m, according to the report.
The number of procedures it takes to obtain a construction permit are 17, which include measures like applying for the site validity certificate and requesting and obtaining water connection, while in the Middle East and North Africa the number of procedures are 13.4 and 12.1 for states registered in OECD high income stats.
The building quality control index ranges from 0 to 15, with zero being the lowest and 15 the highest. Egypt scored 12 compared to 11.3 for states registered in OECD nations and 9.9 in the Middle East and North Africa.
The building quality control index is based on six other indices: the quality of building regulations, quality control before, during, and after construction, liability and insurance regimes, professional certifications indices, case study assumptions as the measures of efficiency, and quality of building regulations.
The Doing Business project provides assessments of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies. The report suggests that the construction industry is responsible for 6% of the global gross domestic product (GDP)—or a 5% share of GDP in developed economies and an 8% share in developing economies.
Egyptian housing minister advisor Nafisa Hashim said that Egypt was ranked 165 before issuing the Construction Law in 2007, and jumped 24 places to rank 141 in 2014 to reach 64 in 2017.
For his part, Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly attributed the progress achieved in Egypt’s rank in the construction permits indicator to the formation of a coordinative committee including the involved ministries to ease the procedures of issuing construction permits. In addition, the ministry formed a permanent committee to follow up on the application of the Construction Law and its regulations.
However, as Egypt has achieved such progress in issuing construction permits, there are some issues and difficulties that Egyptians face in getting permits, even with the Unified Construction Law 119/2008, according to member of the parliament’s Housing Committee, Mohammed Abdel Ghani.
Abdel Ghani said that the parliament has almost completed amendments on the Unified Construction Law to address its problems, the main issue being the difficulty of licensing and lack of urban planning of cities and governorates, in addition to non-observance of the different structural building standards in the cities and villages.
Abdel Ghani told Daily News Egypt that amendments will be approved during the parliament’s current legislative term.
He noted that amendments on the law include harsher punishment for violations, including imprisonment and the demolition of the buildings in question. There are also plans to establish an advisory office by the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate to review and adopt building designs and issue licences.