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Tuesday, 02 March 2021

Egypt needs public discussion over bread subsidies: Proposed new supply minister

Mohamed Abu-Shadi says his biggest challenge as Egypt's new supply minister will be making sure there are sufficient supplies of basic commodities such as wheat

Ahram Online, Tuesday 16 Jul 2013
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Mohamed Abu-Shadi has accepted the post of supply minister, he confirmed to Ahram Online on Tuesday.

Abu-Shadi was formerly a senior interior ministry official responsible for investigating supply crimes. He was head of the internal trade sector at the trade ministry during the Mubarak era.

He will be charge of distributing subsidised bread, other food products and fuel. His biggest challenge will be ending the chronicle fuel shortages that have plagued Egypt since 2008, but have became more acute since the revolution.

"My first priority is to make sure that supplies of basic commodities like wheat are within the safe limits," Abu-Shadi said.

He vowed to open a public discussion about subsidised bread that includes producers, distributors and consumers.

"People have different opinions and it is something to be respected," he said, commenting on the previous government's liberalisation of the flour distribution system. He declined to give further information.

Egypt's last trade minister introduced a new system whereby the government continued to subsidise bread, but not flour.

The government purchased bread from bakeries then sold it to consumers at a subsidised price of 5 piastres. 

Abu-Shadi said he wanted to appoint young people to vacant roles within the ministry.

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