Egypt to reduce subsidised staple food prices

Egypt is to reduce the prices of subsidised food staples from December, the supply ministry spokesman said Saturday. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 November 2019

Egypt to reduce subsidised staple food prices

  • Nearly one in three Egyptians lives below the poverty line, according to official figures released in July
  • The supply ministry spokesman said the measures aimed to make goods available "in suitable quantities and prices"

CAIRO: Egypt is to reduce the prices of subsidised food staples from next month, the supply ministry spokesman said Saturday, as the country's economy shows signs of recovery.
"Prices of cooking oil, sugar, rice and flour will be reduced starting the first of December," said spokesman Ahmed Kamal.
He said the measures aimed to make goods available "in suitable quantities and prices".
Last month, the government reinstated 1.8 million Egyptians to a food subsidy programme as instructed by President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi.
Also in October, fuel prices were cut by 25 piastres (0.015 US cents) a litre following several rounds of price hikes under a tough austerity programme that triggered popular discontent.
The measures came after rare and small-scale protests in September calling for El-Sisi's removal after an exiled Egyptian businessman accused the president and top military brass of corruption.
Harsh austerity measures introduced by El-Sisi's government since he took office in 2014 have hit poor and middle-class Egyptians.
Nearly one in three Egyptians lives below the poverty line, according to official figures released in July.
The tough reforms including subsidy cuts and a devaluation of the local currency were tied to a three-year $12-billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund secured in 2016.
The IMF loan was disbursed in full earlier this year, in a boost for the economy.
Egypt's economy was sent into a downward spiral by the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and has also been hit by extremist attacks that damaged its vital tourism sector.
But the official statistics agency said inflation fell to its lowest level in nearly a decade last month, easing to 2.4 percent compared with 17.5 percent a year earlier.


UAE cancels visa extension for expatriates

Updated 30 min 22 sec ago

UAE cancels visa extension for expatriates

  • The UAE’s decision to extend the validity of identity cards that expired on March 31 until December 31 was canceled
  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will begin charging fees for its services starting July 12

DUBAI: The UAE Cabinet has revised its earlier regulations for residency visas of expatriates whose stay in the country was affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
UAE residents, whether they are in or outside the country, whose visas expired between March 1 and March 31 this year were given three months to renew their documents after the government took back its earlier decision to extend the validity until the end of December.
The UAE’s decision to extend the validity of identity cards that expired on March 31 until December 31 was also canceled.
The UAE Cabinet’s resolution took immediate effect.
“The decision came after the current situation was studied in detail to ensure that there were no negative effects or repercussions on various sectors,” state news agency WAM reported.
The decision linked to the validity of visas and entry permits for expats inside the UAE – starting March 1 to December of 2020 – will be removed, the report added.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will begin charging fees for its services starting July 12.
The Cabinet also approved granting residents outside the UAE and with expired residency visa after March 1 – or those who have passed six months outside the state – a period to return to the UAE from the date of opening the airspace between both countries.
The Cabinet said the current services must be offered through electronic systems to facilitate and limit the crowding of customers.