Draft law regulating domestic trade presented to cabinet

Sources with the Social Solidarity and Domestic Trade Ministry said that the ministry has submitted a draft law for regulating the local market and confronting smuggling to the cabinet to be referred to Parliament.

The new law would sentence whoever harms the country’s economy to death or life in prison.

The law strengthens the current penalty for manipulating subsidized commodities to between six months and five years in jail and a fine between LE10,000 and LE100,000 depending on the severity of the infraction and the situation in the country at the time.  

Under the law, anyone who manipulates the market by spreading propaganda or rumors to inflate prices would be sentenced to one to five years in prison and fined LE100,000. The same penalties would apply to persons caught selling commodities on the black market.  

The social solidarity and domestic trade minister, according to the new law, enjoys the right of defining the margin of profit in the sale of commodities, which must not exceed 30 percent, including 10 percent for the importer, 10 percent for wholesale retailers, and 10 percent for retailers.

Under the law, anyone who exceeds the 30 percent profit margin would be sentenced to three years in jail, a fine ranging between LE1,000 and LE5,000, or both. The same penalty would apply to anyone who sells an unlabeled product.

Anyone who sells a commodity without an invoice describing his traders, his trade register, the commodity, the date of sale and the price would be sentenced to one to five years in jail and a fine of LE20,000-LE100,000 under the law.

The minister of social solidarity and domestic trade would also be granted the right to halt the production and sale of certain commodities.

According to the provisions of the draft law, the sale of petroleum products distributed by the government for non-personal use is prohibited.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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