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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Bread and food subsidies to cost the state more than EGP 80 bn

State spending on bread and commodity subsidies will break north of EGP 80 bn in the 2017-18 state budget, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told reporters on Saturday in wide-ranging remarks. Bread subsidies alone will set the state back around EGP 60 bn while other foodstuffs will ring in at EGP 26 bn. The Supply Ministry is also gearing up to import more meat and poultry ahead of Ramadan and the Eids, the minister said. Meanwhile, the Military Production Ministry expects to finalize its review of the food subsidy rolls by June at the latest with a view to cutting off welfare cheats. The Supply Ministry is considering adding 17 more commodities to the commodity subsidy program, which until now offers welfare beneficiaries around 56 products but as of next month will allow them only to purchase oil, rice, and sugar at reduced prices. El Moselhy also confirmed to reporter that the government has no intention of setting fixed commodity prices, calling the proposal “unconstitutional.”

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