Plots of land that the government has retaken from investors in the north-west Suez area were confiscated only from unserious businessmen who did not utilise the land for the purpose it was assigned for, Osama Saleh, head of the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) has said. Egypt's newly appointed prime minister, Kamal El-Ganzouri, has issued a decree to withdraw 21 million square metres of land assigned to investors in the Gulf of Suez that were originally granted for the purpose of establishing industrial projects. Saleh indicated that some investors did not uphold the conditions of the contracts awarded and the timeline for building their facilities. Accordingly the government decided to confiscate the land to put it to better use. Currently a committee from GAFI is evaluating projects currently under construction in the 200 million square metres industrial area and will come up with recommendations improve overall performance. Investors bought land in the Suez area for LE5 per square metre, whereas they paid 20 per cent down payment in 1999 and the rest in installments for the following three years. Saleh also indicated that GAFI is looking into the conditions of 1,200 factories that are currently facing trouble, causing them to halt production. ahramonline .