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Sunday, 2 February 2020

Supply Ministry to hold public consultations on whether to shift to cash subsidies

Supply Ministry further studies shift to cash subsidies: The Supply Ministry will hold public consultations to gauge opinion on the proposed system of doling out cash for food subsidy recipients in place of the current system of in-kind subsidies using ration cards, Supply Minister Aly El Moselhy told the local press. El Moselhy stressed that the shift to cash subsidies will not be an individual decision and that he plans to meet with MPs in the coming period to discuss how to make the move most beneficial for the Egyptian population.

Background: The current system is based on ration cards with points used to purchase bread and other basic items. The obvious rationale behind switching to cash subsidies is to hand out payments directly to beneficiaries rather than subsidizing suppliers. The move could help streamline the system both in terms of state finances and fair access to the mns who rely on subsidies. The Cash Subsidies Act, under which this new system would be governed, was sent to the House of Representatives back in July 2019. The act would revamp the country’s cash subsidy programs and provide the mechanism and basis for eligibility.

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