CAIRO: A new system for food subsidies will be initiated next month and will include 20 new food products both from the public and private sector, Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy said Monday, Al Mal newspaper reported.
Hanafy’s statement came during his meeting with Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby, along with representatives of the Administrative Development Ministry and companies assigned to produce smart supply cards.
“The new commodities include meat, fish, poultry, bean products and cleansers,” Hanafy said, adding the new subsidy system would reduce citizens’ complaints about the poor quality of the products. He told Al Mal a new bread distribution system, which was been put into effect in three governorates: Port Said, Suez and Ismailia, will be applied in the rest of Egypt within three months.
Hanafy said commodities currently offered to citizens are “not enough” and that the government is now seeking to compete with major retail chains using its new system.
“The recently applied bread distribution system at canal governorates has been able to save 9.6 million EGP of consumption costs,” Hanafy stated, pointing out that the saved sum was re-directed as subsidized products for citizens. He added that South Cairo residents in Maadi, Tora, Helwan, Massarah, 15th of May City and New Cairo, will follow the lead of canal governorates residents.
“People will be allowed to choose from a larger range of products that will include milk, fruits and vegetables according to each family’s needs,” spokesperson of the Ministry of Supply Mahmoud Diab told Ahram Online Tuesday, referring to the new plan.
As the world’s top wheat importer, food security is a sensitive topic in Egypt. Former president Anwar Sadat canceled bread subsidies in 1977, resulting in mass demonstrations that forced him to withdraw the decision.