Thursday,16 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1269, (5 - 11 November 2015)
Thursday,16 August, 2018
Issue 1269, (5 - 11 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Cooling prices

Cooling prices
Cooling prices
Al-Ahram Weekly

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has promised to rein in the prices of basic commodities by the end of November, announcing that the Armed Forces and the government will work together to provide goods at reasonable prices.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, the government plans to make products available to the public directly through wholesale markets and upgrade the government’s cooperative supermarkets, as well as increasing the number of outlets that sell goods at reduced prices.

The newspaper said the government will increase the food subsidies available through the smart cards that presently benefit 60 million people at a cost of around LE30 billion. In order to increase the availability of goods on the market, young people will also be given loans to purchase cargo vehicles that they can use to collect vegetables and fruit from government outlets to sell to consumers.

The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade is already providing food commodities at a 20 per cent discount through 4,000 governmental and Armed Forces outlets in all the governorates. Khaled Hanafi, minister of supply and internal trade, said that these goods are available in cooperation with the Armed Forces to help people buy staples at lower prices.

He said that 34 companies affiliated to the Food Holding Company will provide products at prices 10 to 20 per cent below the market price and that competition between the government and the private sector will benefit consumers.

The prices of many goods started to soar after the government slashed subsidies on petroleum products in July 2014, raising the price of fuel by 78 per cent at the pumps. Experts also attribute the hikes to the dollar crunch, as well as the drop in the value of the pound against the dollar. The Egyptian pound has lost about 11 per cent of its value against the dollar since January 2015.

Egypt’s urban inflation rate jumped to 9.2 per cent in September from 7.9 per cent in August. Economists say that the increase in inflation is due to a surge in food prices in September, reaching the highest rate in five years. Vegetable prices were the most affected, increasing by 26.4 per cent in September and August. The government had forecast an inflation rate of between 10 and 11 per cent in fiscal year 2015-2016, and a drop to seven or eight per cent by 2018-2019.

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