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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Gov’t considers doubling bread point subsidies on smart cards -Reuters

The government is considering doubling the bread subsidies that qualified beneficiaries receive through the Supply Ministry’s smart card system, two government sources told Reuters’ Arabic service. The increase would give each smart card holder EGP 0.20 for every loaf of bread not bought out of the 150 loaves allocated to each cardholder every month. The points on the card are then tallied and allow the cardholder to buy other commodities using the accumulated balance. The caveat: the ministry will reduce the daily allocation of subsidized bread from five loaves to four. A source said the move is motivated by the government’s desire to reduce system manipulation by bakers, who, the source claims, overcharge the government. Another unnamed source said the government currently spends EGP 375-400 mn each month on the bread points subsidy system — an amount that is set to double if the increase is approved.

…To help us keep track of the new changes to the subsidy system, the Supply Ministry is also considering issuing a price guide for goods along the bread supply chain every month, ministry spokesperson Mohamed Sewed tells Al Borsa. These will include the price of subsidized bread, and the price of wheat the government will sell to flour mills and the price of flour it will sell to bakeries.

On that note, the ministry also announced that it purchased a total 3.75 mn tonnes of wheat from local farmers during this year’s harvest season, which ended on 15 July, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told the press on Monday. Prices ranged from EGP 555-575 per ardeb.

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