ECONOMY

Ministry officials delay opening up closed professions

A considerable part of the public administration appears reluctant to apply legislation for the liberalization of the so-called closed-shop professions. This reluctance starts from the top of ministry administration and trickles down to local officials around the country.

Public administrators, often with professional backgrounds in sectors slated for liberalization, are known to operate as mouthpieces for union interests instead of applying the law, which means issuing the necessary implementation circulars or the preparation of the presidential decrees required.

This has been obvious from the start of the liberalization process by the dozens of demands for exemption from the law of 2011 that were submitted to the competent ministries. In fact, delays in the application of the law have been recorded regarding professions such as as lawyers, energy inspectors, actuaries, etc., and here are quite a few cases where ministries have refrained — deliberately or not — from submitting to the Competitions Commission the necessary documents to support the exemption claims, resulting in delays to the entire opening-up process.