CAIRO: The Ministry of Supply will continue to provide food commodities to citizens at reduced prices, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Khalid Hanafi announced Thursday during his meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Youm7 reported.
“Food commodities prices will not increase in the near future after fuel prices are incrased. On the contrary, this change will lower prices in its entirety,” Hanafi said in a press conference Thursday with major food suppliers and hypermarket and supermarket chain owners, according to Al-Shorouk newspaper.
Hanafi said all leading food suppliers and hypermarket and supermarket chain owners pledged not to increase the price of commodities even if fuel prices are hiked to suit all income segments.
“One of the large companies offered 500 tons of poultry to be sold to consumer cooperatives at 25 percent below market prices,” Hanafi said during the meeting. Another company will provide 500 tons of milk to consumer cooperatives at 30 percent lower than its price in Egyptian market, Al-Mal newspaper reported.
“The average price of 100 kilowatts of energy per hour will be raised to 14.5 EGP instead of 10 EGP. The price of 1,000 kilowatt of energy per hour will be raised to 600 EGP instead of 530 EGP,” Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker said in a press conference Thursday at the ministry headquarters, Al-Watan newspaper reported Friday.
Shaker said the subsidy offered to the electricity sector after the tariff change decreased to 27.4 billion EG instead of the present 38.7 billion EGP. The subsidy is scheduled to drop to 20.2 billion EGP next year, to 12 billion EGP in the third year, to 4.4 billion EGP in the fourth year until it reaches zero in the fifth year.
He said the restructuring of the electricity tariff system will save 10 billion EGP in the new state budget 2014/2015.
Several consumer protection associations criticized raising the prices of electricity and fuel, saying that this change will cause prices to increase up to 200 percent, Al-Watan newspaper reported Friday.
Head of a consumer protection association Zainab Awadallah said that fuel and electricity are basic commodities and that raising the prices of fuel and oil will consequently require to increase transportation prices for both goods and people, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
Awadallah said the current cabinet’s decisions are “random,” pointing out that “the policy of raising prices will cause all prices to increase up to at least 200 percent for each commodity.”