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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

FinMin ups discounts on consumer goods to boost spending

FinMin ups discounts on consumer goods to boost spending: Ration card holders will receive a 14% discount on goods covered by the government’s consumer spending initiative, up from 10% currently, Masrawy reports, citing Finance Minister Mohamed Maait. The additional price cut only applies to goods which merchants and manufacturers have already discounted by at least 15%, Maait said.

Card holders can now also carry over unused sums from their monthly subsidy for food commodities, following a coordinated effort between the finance and supply ministries. Merchants and manufacturers will also be paid any dues owed to them from the treasury within four working days.

The initiative’s website has seen some 65k durable and non-durable goods sold from 1,631 outlets nationwide since the program’s launch in July, according to Deputy Minister of Treasury Affairs Ehab Abu Eish.

Background: The government launched the consumer spending program in July to stimulate some EGP 125 bn-worth of consumer spending. Egyptian and foreign consumers can buy select goods including electronics, appliances, clothes, leather products, and furniture through a dedicated website set up by the government. The same products will be available on sale in stores at the same time. Nearly 1.2k manufacturers and merchants have reportedly signed up to offer discounts on some 4.2k products.

In a related program, families on ration cards will get up to EGP 1k in additional spending power under the program. The government has earmarked as much as EGP 12.25 bn, providing an additional EGP 200 per family member to a maximum of EGP 1k per qualifying family for spending under the program.

The program looks set to last until at least January 2021, and could be extended further into 2021 if it proves successful.

The initiative came up on the airwaves last night, when Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal spoke to Assistant Finance Minister Mohamed Abd El-Fattah (watch, runtime: 9:15).

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