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Monday, 2 April 2018

Government to announce new social protection measures in Ramadan -sources

Government could announce new social protection measures in Ramadan: The Ismail Cabinet will reportedly announce a new batch of social safety measures in the second half of May or first half of June, an unnamed government official tells Al Shorouk. The new measures — which Prime Minister Sherif Ismail earlier confirmed were in the making — will raise the monthly allowance ration card holders use to purchase subsidized commodities and also give public sector employees across the board an “exceptional” wage increase, according to the official. Ismail had also announced that plans were underway to expand the Takaful and Karama programs to include more citizens and said that the government was planning to increase spending on commodity subsidies in FY2018-19. The Cabinet said last week it was earmarking EGP 322 bn in the next fiscal year for social welfare and protection programs.

The Ismail Cabinet is reportedly studying the possibility of a hike in fuel prices before the year is up, the official added. The government had previously denied it was planning to slash subsidies on petroleum products this year, especially with electricity bills set to rise by as much as 40% as of July. We’re expecting to hear more about social protection measures once the House of Representatives begins its review of the FY2018-19 budget.

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