Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced a package of decisions that aims to expand the social safety net and support low-income people.
Ismail said that he tasked concerned authorities with implementing several decisions including raising the prices of strategic food commodities in favour of low-income people and increasing the domestic production of sugarcane, wheat, barley, and corn.
The measures also include lowering customs and tax tariffs on imported food commodities, rice, and sugar by 30% to maintain affordable prices.
In addition, Ismail directed the government to import sufficient quantities of basic goods to maintain a six-month stock. Basic commodities will be sold through outlets of subsidiaries of the Food Industries Holding Company at low profit margins.
The measures also include bearing the sale price differences that are caused by the high cost of commodities listed as part of the subsidy system, as well as increasing the allowance per person to EGP 21 up from EGP 18, effective from 1 December 2016.
The prime minister also assured he will take all actions necessary to review and filter the ration cards system. This includes updating the list to exclude the deceased, citizens living abroad, and duplicates, while adding more eligible citizens to the system.
The government will also secure the availability of basic commodities at affordable prices to most needy areas and ban the export of rice.
With regards to the procedures for the provision of goods, reducing cost, and prices to the public, the plan includes stock buying of local and imported goods from major companies and importers, or direct import.
Moreover, contracts for supplying basic commodities will be conducted according to a scheme that allows for long-term supply and payment to obtain discounts and payment facilities.
This would come with lowered profit margins.
Furthermore, Ismail said that these measures are meant to implement mandates by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for the government to tighten controls on the market and adjust prices within the state’s efforts to protect the citizens.
The prime minister also directed concerned bodies to continue implementing necessary measures to control the markets across several aspects, including raising the number of “Gama’ety” outlets and moving outlets, developing consumer complexes, and designing a new policy to tighten controls on the market.
Ismail stressed that the government pays special attention to secure the provision of goods in highly populated areas, including Upper Egypt and most villages in need.
Finally, the prime minister commissioned concerned bodies to coordinate with the Ministry of Health to take all necessary actions to secure the availability of medication from the local market and abroad to maintain fair prices and follow up on all stages of the supply chain, starting from producers and importers through distribution to stores and pharmacies.