The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade has put in place a price control plan based on increased availability of food commodities in the governorates through the establishment of commercial centres, chains, and logistical centres.
Aly El Meselhi, minister of supply and internal trade, said that increasing the number of outlets provides more commodities, which helps curb price hikes.
He told Daily News Egypt that there are about 40,000 official outlets, versus 400,000 random points. The internal trade represents the lifeline of the national economy, which relies on a consumer market of 104 million people. The market needs to increase the number of logistical centres to cover 50% of governorates to reach 12 centres on 20 feddans each.
The quota of the golden car for bakeries will be cut again after transforming paper cards to electronic one, as the golden card aimed to distribute bread for those who have paper cards or lost their smart cards, he stated.
“Once citizens receive the smart
card, the need for golden cards will disappear,” he said.
The continued disbursement of bread with the golden card wasted a lot of the subsidies, where about EGP 2bn is spent on golden card bread per year, El Meselhi elaborated, adding, that the ministry faced the rise in prices following the recent fuel price hike through maintaining the price of bread EGP 5 piasters, while bearing EGP 1. 2bn in diesel cost.
Moreover, El Meselhi said that the storage capacity for wheat in silos remained at 1.2m tonnes four years ago, but now it has reached 2.9m tonnes, with more silos being built to reach 4m tonnes by the end of 2019.
On the process of eliminating non- eligible holders of ration cards, the minister explained that the social justice committee sets the criteria for determining non-eligible subsidies
receives, which will be announced in a community meeting.
Furthmore, the target segments are based on income and spending levels, as goods subsidies cost over EGP 42bn per year, while bread subsidy cost EGP 45bn, he mentioned. He said that the Ministry of Supply puts its estimates for the production of rice in the current season and the quantities to be imported, along with
setting the origin countries. Meanwhile, more than 380,000 ration cards have requested to register new births with a total of 620,000 new names from 1,383 supply offices between 1 and 30 August, he said, adding, that the strategic stock of meat, wheat, oil, rice exceeds safety limits; where oil and wheat supply is enough for three-four months, sugar for six-seven months, frozen and fresh meat by the end of 2019, adding that about 10,000
tonnes of meat are offered through consumer complexes every month. The Ministry of Supply contracted with private sector traders to put rice in the consumer complexes at EGP 8 per kg.
In addition, El Meselhi said that 90% of traders are committed to the decision to price tag products, while violators are facing official reports.
He added that Gameaty project is one of the very important projects of the ministry that sims to employ youth and increase the number of state outlets to build an organised distribution network to sell basic commodities at appropriate prices. The project is implemented in cooperation with the National Bank of Egypt and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Authority.
They received 6,000 requests in the second phase of the project, which were inspected and filtered. The result was approving over 1,300 requests and granting a grace period for the branches that were not ready to the end of the year, he stated, adding, that the Ministry of Supply is considering preparing a third phase if the market needs it.