By Doaa Farid
Minister of Investment Osama Saleh issued a decision on Saturday to the Holding Company of Food Industries to provide basic food commodities to citizens with a price cut ranging from 10% to 15% in early October, to coincide with Eid Al-Adha celebrations, as inflation continues to rise.
Saleh, according to state-run news agency MENA, said the decision will be effective during the ten days preceding Eid El-Adha to enable citizens to buy their needed goods at discounted prices that fit their income.
Inflation rose 0.7% during the month of August, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) indicated in its latest report issued 10 September, with the rate up 10.9% year on year to 139.3 points. The interim government’s efforts to alleviate financial woes also included paying tuition fees of students attending public schooling across the republic.
The press office of the Holding Company of Food Industries said that a meeting was held on Sunday between the different sectors of the company to discuss ways of lowering the prices of food items.
Ahmed Hamed, the head of Food Division at Cairo Chamber of Commerce, said this decision is a good indicator of increased stability and “can be considered as a reassuring sign to Egyptians.”
Hamed pointed out that the prices of food items are stable despite ongoing political turmoil and violence which may cause the prices of some products to hike, such as dairy , which he said rose by 10%. He added that the prices of the supply commodities such as sugar and rice, however, have decreased.
“Lifting the charges on imports may lower the prices of imported sugar by 17%, which will affect the prices of other food items that include sugar,” Hamed said, explaining that consumers will feel this decrease in prices when new amounts of sugar are imported and distributed in the market.
According to MENA, Saleh also called on the Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport to reduce the value of tickets of passenger transport companies for three months, starting with the beginning of the academic year set to start in 21 September.
The price of the basic food commodities has stabilised and items were available in large quantities amid the political turmoil earlier in August despite a slump in the food market.
Earlier this year, the former supply minister had implemented a number of measures to control market prices, including developing plans to prevent price manipulation and providing the market with sufficient levels of basic goods by increasing the supply of subsidised commodities namely oil, sugar and rice to meet consumers’ needs.