By AYA IBRAHIM
CAIRO: The Ministry of Supply is preparing a new service for sending SMS to ration card holders. The messages will inform them when supplies reach distributing shops and tell them their shares of monthly subsidized commodities and bread, as well as answer any questions about subsidized goods, official spokesperson of the Ministry of Supply Mahmoud Diab told The Cairo Post on Thursday.
“The process of collecting the citizens’ phone numbers has started under the supervision of supply Minister Khaled Hanafi,” Diab said. “[Hanafi] gave his directives in Tuesday’s meeting with the project manager for the Family Card System in the Egyptian Ministry of State for Administrative Development (MSAD), representatives from the companies implementing the smart cards and the three main mobile phone companies. We hope to start sending SMS alerts within the coming few days.”
Egypt applied a new smart card system in April to guarantee more effective distribution of subsidized goods and bread.
Diab said the decision to send SMS “will guarantee that citizens do not need make unnecessary trips to the subsidized complexes just to know whether or not supply have reached them.”
The SMS will include all inquiries about the services provided by the Ministry of Supply, he said, adding that the ministry will also use this SMS service to share information about the prices of the subsidized goods at state’s complexes, the date and time of any seasonal exhibitions and the phone numbers of all hotlines allocated to receive complains.
Meanwhile, Hanafi said in a Tuesday statement that the ministry is working to establish a sophisticated Call Center in coordination with the Ministry of Communication to serve Egyptians. He said the service will be available within a few days.
Starting from July, Egypt’s supply ministry applied a new system of primary commodities distribution in which it increased the subsidized goods presented to citizens to twenty instead of just three, sugar, rice, and oil, under the old ration card system, Al Borsa Business daily reported July 2.
“In the new ration card system, people are allowed to choose from a wide range of commodities including milk, fruits, and vegetables, according to each family’s needs with total value up to 15 EGP per person per month,” Hanafi was quoted as saying by Al Borsa.