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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

New criteria set for subsidies system

How the gov’t plans to cut up to 10 mn welfare beneficiaries: The Supply Ministry has laid out a plan to wean moochers off of the subsidies system. Ministry sources tell Al Shorouk that while it is still too soon to tell how many people will be taken off subsidies, early estimates predict that 5-10 mn out of the 73 mn (82 mn by the Finance Ministry’s data) who receive monthly subsidized goods will be struck from welfare rolls as part of the first phase of the plan, while 1.5-2 mn people will be added. The plan was reportedly devised in cooperation with other ministries, the newspaper says, citing ministry sources as blaming former Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy’s subsidies smart card system, which added 47 subsidized goods to the system from three, as having attracted the freeloaders including white-collar professionals and civil servants. The government plans to complete a national database for all citizens to monitor subsidy use by September 2019. The ministry has reportedly has set 10 criteria for people it plans to strike from the list of eligible beneficiaries:

  • Individuals with incomes exceeding EGP 3,000 per month and households earning EGP 10,000 or more per month;
  • Households who send their children to international schools or pay private school tuition of EGP 20,000 or more per year;
  • Individuals who own a property or households that own more than one piece of real estate;
  • Those who own a personal automobile with an engine of more than 2,000 cc, a new model car, or more than one vehicle;
  • Those who own over three feddans of agricultural land;
  • Those who own over 10 feddans of agricultural land will be paid market prices for their crops;
  • Those who have travelled outside the country more than once;
  • Small to medium-sized grocers and commodity retailers.

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