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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Supply Ministry raises golden card quota again, issues 100,000 subsidy smart cards

The Supply Ministry decided yesterday to raise the quota of bread bakeries are allowed to sell to temporary card holders in four governorates, to reach as many as 3,500 loaves per day, depending on the needs of each area, Al Borsa reports. Largely backtracking on last week’s decision to cut down on the number of subsidized bread loaves each bakery can sell through the golden card system to 500 per day, following protests in six governorates on Tuesday. Some people continued to protest yesterday, maintaining that they do not have access to their daily bread rations, Al Shorouk reports.

The ministry is also moving fast to replace temporary cards with regular supply smart cards, issuing 100k subsidy cards. The move is meant to nix the golden card subsidies system, which El Moselhy said made it hard to monitor the distribution of bread and left the subsidy program vulnerable to fraud. Temporary cards are issued to non-residents of a governorate, those who have lost their smart cards, or those in line to receive smart cards.
StoryHed_! Transportation Ministry looking for USD 15.2 bn in investor funding as Cairo Metro sees financial difficulty

The Transportation Ministry is shopping for investors to help fund USD 15.2 bn in new rail and metro projects, according to statements by Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat at the Middle East Rail conference on Tuesday. The bulk of the investment being sought is for three high-speed rail lines running from Luxor to Cairo, Alexandria to Cairo and from Luxor to Hurghada, which will have a combined cost of USD 13.7 bn, The National reports. Other projects for which it is seeking backing include: The USD 984 mn Cairo Metro Line 3; a USD 290 mn super tram linking satellite cities in New Cairo; a USD 86 mn passenger and freight line linking Mansoura to Damietta; and a USD 89.6 mn freight line connecting Egypt’s biggest phosphate mine at Abu Tartur to Safaga port.

Funding the Cairo Metro appears to have taken a new level of urgency as the government appears to be unable to pay its contractors in the last eight months due to liquidity shortages, according to statements by Egyptian Company for Metro Management & Operations CEO Khaled Sabra. He tells Youm7 that the company might have to resort to increasing ticket prices to offset the severe losses it has sustained in recent months and pay its rising debts that are now up to EGP 500 mn. The government has been fiddling with the idea of raising ticket prices from EGP 1 for several months now, but pressure from the street has kept it from making a move.

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