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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Supply Ministry to begin registering new beneficiaries to subsidy rolls alongside newborns as of August

The Supply Ministry will reportedly begin registering more citizens to the subsidy rolls as of August under tighter regulations adopted last year, a ministry source tells Al Shorouk. The ministry will begin accepting applications to issue new ration cards as the registration window also opens for families to add newborns to their data, according to the source. The government had issued new regulations last year to govern new entrants, which cap the number of family members per card to four and introduce a EGP 1,500 monthly income threshold for eligibility for full-time workers, as well as a EGP 1,200 monthly threshold for pension earners. The rules also stated that orphans, widows, divorced women, single mothers, those with disabilities or special needs, minors, seasonal workers, and those eligible for social welfare benefits under the Takaful and Karama program would also be candidates for ration cards.

It’s unclear how the government intends to finance the addition of new beneficiaries to its rolls. Sources had also previously told us that the cabinet was currently debating how to fund increased commodity subsidies for 6 mn newborns and is considering a budget overdraft, the reallocation of funds from other ministries, or reclassifying newborns as beneficiaries of cash subsidy programs. It might just be that the Supply Ministry plans to have completed the purge of the subsidy system by August to make room for new additions, while spending on commodity subsidies is set to rise 36.6% this fiscal year to EGP 86.18 bn.

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