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An aggregator for (oAnth's) daily interests in humanities, arts, science, geography, economics, politics - academia, education - activism, advocacy - itec, free software, open source, open access, open knowledge - languages in use: mostly EN, FR, DE
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Egypt to overhaul subsidized bread system

Egypt to overhaul subsidized bread system | oAnth's day by day interests - via its scoop.it contacts | Scoop.it

The Egyptian Ministry of Supply is preparing to introduce a new system to distribute subsidised bread to those who need it using national identification (ID) numbers.

A trial run is expected to begin in al-Fayoum province, and will be rolled out to the rest of the country after technical and logistical problems are identified and resolved, officials told Al-Shorfa.

Subsidised bread is currently rationed at 20 loaves per family per day at a cost of one Egyptian pound ($0.14). Non-subsidized bread is available at bakeries for 50 piasters ($0.07) per loaf.

"My family members and I take turns, depending on who is free, to stand in line for subsidised bread each day starting in the early morning hours," said Tawfiq Nagy, who heads a family of six.

"If we're late getting in line, we might miss out on getting our bread ration," he told Al-Shorfa.

When that happens, Nagy buys bread from unsubsidised bakeries, adding that "private bakery bread is bigger and of higher quality".

Nagy believes the subsidised bread distribution system needs to be regulated, as "neither the distribution mechanism is good nor is the quality of the bread acceptable".

Distribution based on the national ID number would prevent bakery owners or any other party that wishes to trade in subsidised bread from exploiting the system, he said.

The plan aims to eliminate waste and attempts by some bakery owners to sell bread on the black market, said Saleh Jaber, development advisor at the bakeries monitoring room at the Ministry of Supply.

This leads to low quality bread on the one hand, and a shortage in supply on the other, he said, forcing people to "buy bread from tourist bakeries, whose prices exceed their purchasing power".

 (Waleed Abu al-Khair / Al-Shorfa)
More : http://al-shorfa.com/en_GB/articles/meii/features/2013/03/15/feature-03

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Egypt bakers threaten strike over payments

Egypt bakers threaten strike over payments | oAnth's day by day interests - via its scoop.it contacts | Scoop.it

Egyptian bakers are threatening strike action unless the government meets demands including back-payment of financial incentives, raising the prospect of fresh unrest in the crisis-ridden north African country.

Abdullah Ghorab, head of the bakers' association which represents 25,000 private bakeries across the country, said imminent strike action has been postponed following a meeting with the government. The association gave the government 15 days to meet its demands.Any shortage of bread in Egypt would likely touch off unrest as the government grapples with an economic crisis rooted in two years of political turmoil. The heavily-indebted state faces a deficit that will hit 12.3 percent of GDP in the year to the end of June unless economic reforms are implemented.
 A country of 84 million, Egypt is the biggest importer of wheat in the world. The state has long subsidised bread production, with the cheapest loaves selling for 5 piastres, or less than 1 US cent.(...)Ghorab said the 25,000 privately-run bakeries represented in his association include 19,000 that produce 5-piastre loaves, and 6,000 more that produce 20 piastre loaves. The state operates another 107 bakeries, he added. Ghorab said the government owed bakeries 400 million Egyptian pounds ($59.34 million) in payments dating back six months. The payments cover an incentive paid to bakers to produce low-price loaves and an extra subsidy to cover higher fuel prices. "The head of the government and the supply minister came to us and promised that within 15 days they would meet the demands of the owners of the bakeries," Ghorab said. More on: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/MISC_231522.html

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