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Monday, 27 February 2017

Supply Ministry plans to raise ration card subsidies by EGP 3-4 a month

Supply Ministry planning to raise ration card allowance to up to EGP 25 per person per month: Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy is planning to approach Prime Minister Sherif Ismail with a proposal to raise the monthly allowance for ration card holders to EGP 24-25 from a current EGP 21 once studies are complete at the end of March, ministry officials tell Al Shorouk. El Moselhy will reportedly not be asking the Finance Ministry for more money in the budget to fund the increase and has already tasked a committee with sorting out how to finance the expansion of the benefit program, the newspaper adds. The piece suggests that some of the funding will come from acknowledging on the books that the EGP’s strengthening against the USD means sugar and oil will now cost the state less.

El Moselhy also appears to want to scrap the bread points system, or at least amend it, as it has been costing the state an additional EGP 500 mn a month. He bluntly notes that the system is self-defeating, as any person willing to substitute bread points for other goods does not need subsidized bread. We’re giving El Moselhy full marks for the bread point initiative, but are still concerned about his remarks last week backing away from a full transition to a cash subsidy to qualified beneficiaries in place of today’s commodity subsidy program.

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