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Inspection teams continue to raid buildings and monitor storage violations in apartment building basements, some of which have been turned into supermarkets, restaurants and even used for housing, in flagrant violation of all regulations.
Violators will often be punished with a warning and closing the shop, with the signing of a pledge not to commit the offense, so that this good citizen will play the same game whenever the hand of government oversight relents, and it will surely relent some day.
On the other hand, the pain of a number of merchants increases due to the great shortage of storage facilities, and the high rents charged for the few available, after the violations forced them to remove their goods from those basements, and they do not know now where they will go, in light of the terrible shortage in stores, and what is available is barely enough to hold 5% or 10% of the goods currently stored illegally in the basements of the buildings.
Aware of the seriousness of the problem, the Council of Ministers’ Secretary-General addressed, about a year ago, the head of the government’s performance follow-up agency regarding the provision of areas for the establishment of warehouses for food and medical supply and others for storage purposes. But it is clear that the agency faced so many bureaucratic difficulties that it was unable to do anything.
It also became clear from the Cabinet’s letter that various government agencies have warehouses of tens of millions of meters, the majority of which are empty and untapped, and the state has previously allocated them for one purpose or another, and their presence in their condition shows that we do not have a storage crisis, but a management crisis!
The Council of Ministers, in its letter to the Government Performance Follow-up Agency, suggested the necessity of providing public warehouses, operating them with the latest methods, and being available to the public and private sectors, through one of the following proposals:
1. The state undertakes to put forward, implement and operate the project, and this will take years, and in the end it will be a loser.
2. The project was put forward through the Partnership Authority between the two sectors, and this means that the implementing agencies will have the lion’s share in the project, which will be very profitable.
3. Putting the project up through bidding and this may be one of the acceptable solutions, and it will also take a lot of time.
4. Establishing a joint stock company that undertakes the establishment, management and operation of storage facilities, which is the best and most beneficial solution, provided that its shareholders are prevented from disposing of their shares before five years have passed since their subscription, and that the company operates under the strict supervision of the concerned authorities so as not to abuse the rents law, as is currently happening now with some companies.
By Ahmad alsarraf