Minister of Supply and Internal Trading Aly Meselhi stated that the number of beneficiaries of subsidy cards will not change during the next fiscal year (FY).
He told Daily News Egypt that the current period brings enough challenges, which already make it hard on Egyptians, explaining that removing the people from the subsidy list now would be a mistake.
Meselhi stated that the ministry is working on establishing a database to learn who deserves subsidies based on many things other than their income, such as their houses or cars, bills of electricity, and their overall living conditions.
“19 million subsidy card holders did not complete their information,” he added, emphasising that the database will be completed within two months.
The minister said that the consumption of the Egyptian market increases during Ramadan by approximately 25-50%, explaining that the government cooperates with the private sector to conduct events such as the fairs of “Supermarket Expo” and “Ahlan Ramadan” that aim to provide necessary goods at low prices.
The minister stated during the conference that announced the establishment of the fair, that the previously implemented reforms, such as the flotation, have had its negative effects, such as a high rate of inflation, explaining that only by cooperation between the government and the private sector could Egyptians overcome the current negative effects.
All producers are willing to reduce their profit rates to make the month of Ramadan easier for the poorest segments of society, which usually suffer most from high inflation rates, Meselhi noted.
Furthermore, the president of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), Ahmed El-Wakeel, said that the private sector would work to provide lower prices during Ramadan in many stores around Egypt.
Moreover, Hani Berzi, chairperson of the Food Export Council, stated that the council is working with the government to increase the amount of food exports, which recorded $2.4bn in 2016, 60% of which went to Arab countries.
He believes that the current bad situation the Arab world is witnessing made Egypt look to raise exports to Africa.
He added that rumours about the Egyptian food industry are not true and negatively affect exports.