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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

New cabinet to be announced on Thursday, swearing in next week? Price hikes of subsidized goods angers talking heads

Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer joined other talking heads in probing yesterday’s announcement that some subsidized commodities will rise in price (more on that in the Speed Round). Assistant Supply Minister Karim Gomaa’ called in to reassure the public that the government is still committed to keeping goods affordable. He attributed the sugar price increases to the government having to pay more for the sugarcane harvest following demands by farmers. “I can’t guarantee that this will be the last price hikes in commodities this year,” Gomaa’ added.

Consummate populist Amr Adib criticized raising prices of subsidized sugar and cooking oil. Speaking directly to the ministry, Adib said “failing to cut ineligible citizens from the list of beneficiaries is not reason enough to raise prices.” Adib harped on transparency, asking why the Supply Minister hasn’t informed the nation of its plans ahead of time (watch, runtime: 5:38). (Apparently, Amr hasn’t heard of price gouging and hoarding.) Naturally, he was joined in his criticism by grandstanding MPs including House Economic Committee member Mohamed Badrawi (watch, runtime: 3:17). Ahmed Abdel Wahab, chairman of state-owned Alexandria Soap Manufacturing and Oil Packaging, defended the government, saying that it bears EGP 5 on every bottle of cooking oil sold to consumers (watch; runtime: 4:20). There are really days when we’d prefer Amr left the economy to the smarter member of his household.

Over on 90 Minutes, another issue hitting citizens in their wallets took center stage as Moataz El Demerdash looked into reports that a public hospital in Mansoura has tripled its prices. Dakahlia Governor Hossam El Din Emam told Moataz that he formed a committee with the Health Ministry to investigate the case (watch: runtime: 6:07).

Public Enterprise Minister Ashraf Sharkawi was interviewed by Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin on the performance of state-owned corporations, which Sharkawi naturally declared were wildly profitable last year. (watch: runtime: 7:53).

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi focused on President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s suggestion that Aswan is impoverished (watch; runtime: 11:28).

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