The government does not intend to withdraw ration cards from eligible beneficiaries, the Minister of Supply and Internal Trading, Aly Meselhi, said on Sunday.
“Only ineligible citizens will be removed, it does not make any sense that someone who pays EGP 1,000 for a mobile or in electricity bills to have a ration card,” he added.
In July 2017, individual subsidies on ration cards increased by 138% from EGP 21 to EGP 50, after increasing the value of subsidies in the state’s general budget from EGP 45bn to EGP 85bn. The move came to cope with the soaring inflation, following the currency devaluation and the energy subsidy cuts.
In February, the minister announced the new criterion is to exclude ineligible beneficiaries from the country’s ration card system.
Meselhi’s statements came during a ceremony marking the expansion of the Delta Sugar Company, in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate.
The new factory has an annual production capacity of 200,000 tonnes.
Furthermore, he explained that Egypt’s annual sugar consumption stands between 3.2m to 3.3m tonnes, while only 2.2m tonnes of sugar are produced annually.
In 2018, Egypt removed a tariff imposed on sugar exports, which came in response to the sugar shortage that took place in 2016, when Egyptian authorities at the time blamed traders and suppliers for hoarding and smuggling goods, and seized the sugar during raids on factories and warehouses for resale to the public at subsidised prices.