Egypt Independent: Egypt-Main news en Egyptian investors turn to courts to abolish tax on capital gains, dividends <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>&nbsp;Egyptian investors challenged the government in court on Tuesday over a tax on stock dividends and capital gains, saying it is causing confusion and hampering investment.</p><p>Traders say the market still doesn&#39;t understand how the tax will be calculated or collected, adding to uncertainty aroused by an indefinite delay to parliamentary elections. The stock market hit a four-month low in early trade.</p><p>The head of the Egyptian stock exchange complained the tax rules were too complicated and fund managers called them burdensome.</p><p>President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved the law, which imposes a 10 percent tax on capital gains and dividends, last July as part of efforts to overhaul an economy battered by years of political turmoil.</p><p>But the &quot;executive regulations&quot;, which stipulate how the law will be applied, were not published until earlier this month and investors say they leave many ambiguities.</p><p>Finance Minister Hany Kadry Damian has estimated that the stock market tax would raise between 3.5 million and 4.5 million Egyptian pounds ($460,000 and $590,000). Profits from stock market transactions in Egypt were previously tax-free.</p><p>The Egyptian Association for Financing and Investment Studies, representing stock market investors and traders, filed a lawsuit in an administrative court demanding changes to some articles of the law, Mohsen Adel, deputy head of the association, told Reuters on Tuesday.</p><p>Adel, a member of the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) board and an advisory economic council for the presidency, said on his Facebook page that the lawsuits were filed due to the government&#39;s &quot;failure to respond&quot; to the issue.</p><p>The tax applies to dividends and capital gains made from trading stocks on the Egyptian stock market and unlisted companies.</p><p>&quot;What we aim at through filing this lawsuit is to abolish the law because it hurts the investors, the stock market, and also harms competition with our neighbouring markets,&quot; said Awad Altersawi, the legal adviser of the Egyptian Association for Financing and Investment Studies.</p><p>The main index of Egypt&#39;s Stock Exchange rose by 32 percent in 2014, the biggest jump among global markets. But the EGX has fallen this year, hit by liquidity shortages and dropping further since the new tax regulations were issued.</p> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 15:17:00 +0000 Reuters 2448904 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/01/11/499612/high_court_in_downtown_cairo.jpg Court ruling: Public servants refusing to work to be dismissed with pension <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on Tuesday that public servants refusing to work would be dismissed, but would still receive their pensions, asserting that Islamic Sharia does not permit such behavior if proven detrimental to citizens.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The court has applied the verdict to three officials from the Qoras City Council in Ashmun and has suspended the promotion of 14 others, all for going on strike and refusing to serve citizens.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It determined that a strike is not like a demonstration, which takes place in a public setting. It is rather a refusal to perform a duty without giving up the job.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The court added that the provisions of the Islamic Sharia are based on the principle of warding off evil and bringing good, which a strike violates by default.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It also referred to a presidential decree issued by President Sadat five days before he died, approving the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that was adopted by the United Nations on the condition that it does not contradict Islamic Sharia.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the court, a strike must strictly observe its limits and not deviate from its main purpose. Islamic Sharia gives priority to public interests over private interests and forbids strikes if they result in more harm than the original harm they were staged for, such as depriving citizens from services they need.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It also said that obedience to superiors is the backbone of the administrative system and that if it is not observed, reporting violations of the system would not be considered and the system would never be reformed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The court pointed to a legislative decree that was issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in 2011 to criminalize an action that can be construed as an assault on work.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Thus, a strike becomes a criminal offense and the UN agreement will not be applied if it violates the provisions of Islamic Sharia.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:36:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2448877 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/04/28/1755/mahalla_spinning_company_workers_on_strike.jpg Political party calls on April 6 to renounce disagreements <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Egyptian Social Democratic Party responded to criticism from the April 6 Youth Movement, calling on liberal revolutionary groups to set aside their differences and work together.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The statement released on Tuesday came in response to the April 6 Movement describing the Egyptian Social Democratic Party as a &quot;cartoon&quot; party that has contributed to thwarting the 25 January revolution after party Mohamed Abul Ghar had called the movement illegal and outlawed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egyptian Social Democratic Party said in the statement that the party, just as April 6 Movement, has been sticking to the path of the January revolution over the past four years, taking part in bringing the Mubarak regime down, participating in June&nbsp;30&nbsp;protests, participating in the post-June&nbsp;30&nbsp;Cabinet, rejecting the law regulating protests and demanding the release of revolutionary youth.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The incident demonstrates the infighting between Egypt&#39;s liberals, who often fail to gain significant influence in the political sphere, partially due to splintering into multiple smaller groups and their candidates.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:07:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2448873 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/05/16030/bo.jpg Coptic Church challenges verdict obliging it to allow remarriage of Coptic citizen <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Leila Attia Isaac, a Coptic Church lawyer, filed an appeal on Tuesday to the Supreme Administrative Court to challenge the verdict obliging the Church to allow the remarriage of Hani Wasfi Demian, a Coptic Christian.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Church said that it did not refuse to grant Demian the permission, but its council asked to see his fiancée, which was a mere preliminary procedure and not an administrative decision that may be challenged. Also, the council is a religious authority that gives opinions in accordance with the provisions of the Bible, which renders the State Council incompetent to review the case.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The verdict said the Church has an administrative role in managing the affairs of the Coptic citizens, which places its decisions under the supervision of the law.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It also said that although the council did not refuse to allow a second marriage, it requested seeing the fiancée as a condition, without a proper legal basis.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:26:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2448875 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/03/29/39/pope.jpg