Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Aly El Meselhi in his meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) stressed that 40% of those who receive subsidies find it inadequate.
“We do not have to look at the figures in an abstract way. The subsidy system is ineffective, and this is what we must work on during the coming period to get subsidies to those who truly deserve it,” said El Meselhi.
He added stating that the system is ineffective due to people who receive subsidies even though they do not deserve it. He said that 80% of society receive subsidies. Around 70 million of them do not deserve what they receive.
The ministry is currently working on filtering the ration cards; however, according to El Meselhi, this will not happen unless there is a database provided so that a fair subsidy system would be implemented.
In response to Egypt’s sugar needs and repeated crises, El Meselhi said, “the shortage of sugar has ended with a regression and that Egypt will not experience another crisis in sugar during 2018.”
He stressed that the current stock is enough for about four and a half months, and local production will start in January.
He added that controlling prices and reducing inflation is the current concern for all members of the government, pointing out that the reason for the high prices is due in large part to harmful practices in the market and to the great loss in transporting and trading commodities.
The percentage of wasted vegetables and fruits is between 30% and 40% of production. The ministry’s strategy is to reduce this loss and increase the quantities of goods offered in the markets through a comprehensive reform of the internal trade system.
The domestic trade sector currently contributes to about 17% of the GDP. The ministry aims to increase this percentage to 21%, pointing out that 14% of the workforce in Egypt is working in this sector.
The ministry is working to provide job opportunities for young people in this sector and the creation of direct employment of up to 42,000 jobs annually, as well as the provision of 210,000 indirect jobs.
“Our vision in the ministry is to make Egypt one of the most important destinations of the trade movement in the region, based on Egypt’s unique geographical location at the heart of the global trade movement,” said El Meselhi.
The minister offered investment opportunities in the internal trade sector and plans to expand the establishment of various markets through which the ministry seeks to control the system in cooperation with the private sector.
He said, “the Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA) aims to modernise and regulate Egypt’s internal trading system by increasing the capacity of local markets and making them more efficient, This would attract more international and regional trade chains, localise new brands, and maintain what exists.”
El Meselhi revealed that the government is preparing to establish 22 new projects in the field of logistics in several governorates.
“New projects will provide 15% to 20% of the waste in the vegetable and fruit market.”
According to the executive vice president of AmCham, Ahmed Abou Ali, the organisation of the system of internal trade to ensure the structure of support and access to the desired, as the ration card system, enhanced the efforts of the government to deliver support to the beneficiaries, thus promoting the reduction of burdens on the general budget of the state.