CAIRO: Intentions of the government to impose fixed prices for grocery items brought no change to market prices as of Friday.
On Saturday, Minister of Supply Mohamed Abu Shady said he would impose the new pricing system to curb soaring prices of grocery, vegetables, and fruits.
The second day after, the prices dropped significantly until Wednesday, but soared again on Thursday.
The same day, a joint government committee of the Ministries of Supply and Agriculture, the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, and representatives for consumer protection associations set fixed prices.
The Ministry of Supply said the prices are mandatory for one week.
Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy told the independent newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm that imposing the fixed pricing system was a must to protect consumers as prices hike for no reason.
According to the pricing, tomatos will be 1.5 to 2 EGP per kilo, potatos 4.75 to 5.5 EGP per kilo, onions 3 EGP per kilo, oranges 2.5 to 3 EGP per kilo, and red grapes 4 to 5 EGP per kilo.
A tour by Youm7 reporters at the Soliman Gohar market in the Cairo neighborhood of Dokki on Friday morning suggested that markets still suffer recession and soaring prices.
Roby Mohamed, one customer at the market, expressed dissatisfaction with the prices of vegetables.
Mohamed said that this rise caused additional expenses for his family, adding that the majority of simple families are only purchasing vegetables, rice and macaroni, without any meat or chicken.
Hamdy Attia, retail merchant, said that the prices the retailers charge are the prices of the wholesale markets, explaining that it’s all the same high price. Attia also complained that these high prices reduced sales by more than half.
He attributed the increase of the prices of vegetables and fruits to traders forced to add higher profit margins to compensate for losses that happened because of the sales decline.