lifting flour subsidies and Eastern Tobacco hiking cigarette prices
The state’s decision to lift flour subsidies and Eastern Tobacco hiking cigarette prices, topped discussions on the airwaves last night.
Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer was on the Supply Ministry’s decision to halt flour subsidies to bakeries starting next month (we’ve got that covered in this morning’s Speed Round). Ministry spokesperson Mohamed Sewed explained to Amer that subsidized bread will continue to be sold for EGP 0.05 and that the decision means primarily to end the corruption plaguing the subsidized bread industry.
The use of smart cards will allow bakers to keep track of how many loaves of subsidized bread they sell so the General Authority for Supply Commodities can later reimburse them, Sewed told Amer.
Amer then moved on to the increases in cigarette prices by Eastern Company (look for more coverage in Basic Materials + Commodities). The new prices had nothing to do with the value-added tax (VAT) but are a welcome source of revenues, Finance Ministry VAT commissioner Abdel Moneim Mattar told Amer.
Dina Zahra (who filled for Lamees Al Hadidi) on Hona Al Asema kept her show about the perennial issue of Qatar. She spoke with political analyst Abdel Moneim Said about the meeting between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, his Saudi, Bahraini, Emirati, and Kuwaiti counterparts, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to discuss updates on Qatar (watch, runtime 10:30). There were no updates.
On Kol Youm, Amr Adib was still sore from the night before about Qatar and the US signing an anti-terror agreement. The anger he feigned, though, severely impaired his ability to deliver his message last night, because it certainly wasn’t coming through. We think, but can’t be sure, that he might have been trying to tell the Arab quartet not to concede on any of their demands (watch, runtime 7:33). Slow your roll, Mr. Adib.
Meanwhile on Masaa DMC, Osama Kamal spoke to Egyptian Competition Authority boss Mona El Garf about the termination of Cable Network Egypt’s (CNE) contracts with Qatar’s beIN Sports (more on that in the Speed round). El Garf said that charges had been leveled against beIN in January for monopolistic practices and CNE must repay customers subscription fees collected after that. Any new subscriptions might force the authority to take legal action against CNE (watch, runtime 6:35).