Supply ministry allocates hotline for price hike complaints during Ramadan
A shopkeeper checks his supplies of dates at a market , in Cairo, file. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO: Egypt’s Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy announced the formation of an operation room to monitor prices of basic food commodities and to take necessary measures to regulate the markets ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Youm7 reported

The decision comes after prices of basic commodities, notably rice, have hiked in the markets during the past few weeks.

“Several measures, including more imports, agreements with suppliers and hundreds of inspections, are taken to meet the increased demand and ensure the prices remain low during the holy month,” said Hanafy.

The ministry will also form an operation room at each Egyptian governorates “to ensure actions on citizens’ complaints and to monitor prices” ahead of start of the fasting month on Monday, said Hanafy.

The ministry has assigned a hotline number 19280 to receive the complaints, he added.

As Ramadan approaches, Egypt usually sees higher demand for foodstuffs compared to the rest of the year.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days widely used in the Islamic world. Ramadan, scheduled to start on June 6, falls 10 days earlier every solar year. According to Islamic history, it is the month when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

During the 29-30 days of Ramadan, Muslims are required to abstain from food, drink and sex from sunrise to sunset. The National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics announced that Muslims will fast for around 16 hours this Ramadan.

Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of five pillars upon which Islam is based. It usually witnesses a notable increase in religious observance among Muslims worldwide.

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