President Sisi says Egypt exerting 'utmost possible' efforts to control prices

Ahram Online , Monday 13 Jun 2022

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Monday that the state is exerting its "utmost possible" efforts to curb the rising prices resulting from the global crisis, most recently the Russia-Ukraine war.

President Sisi


Prices in Egypt could have been higher in the past five or six months had the country not embarked on development projects, which provide many products and services, over the course of the past seven years, El-Sisi added.

The surge in inflation rates in affluent Western and European countries shows how prices in Egypt could have been higher, he pointed out.

These countries, that have capabilities based on "stable" administrative systems, food chains, governance, and pricing mechanisms, are known for their ability to keep inflation rates below two percent for several years regardless of the surrounding global changes.

Prices in these countries hiked recently and they are experiencing inflation rates of five to 11 percent, El-Sisi noted.

The president called for taking into account the fact that population growth is not a factor of concern to those developed countries, unlike in Egypt, which witnessed an increase of 15 million people over the past seven years.

"Some [European] countries have not seen population increases in around 40 years," he elaborated, adding "however, these countries are experiencing rising inflation rates and price surges due to the war."

Egypt’s annual inflation recorded 15.3 percent in May, up from 4.9 percent in May 2021, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Monthly inflation hit 130.2 points in May, recording a 0.9 percent increase in April, stated CAPMAS.

No rise in electricity bills

Price hikes in the domestic market are not proportional to the price rise in the international market because the state shoulders much of the burden on behalf of the people, El-Sisi said.

Should energy services be provided in Egypt as per the current international prices, there would have been "a huge hike" in prices, he added.

El-Sisi said the government decided to postpone the scheduled rise in household electricity prices for the third time in a row to ease the people's burden, especially low-income citizens.

Egypt was initially planning to entirely phase out electricity subsidies by the end of the 2018-2019 fiscal year, but it extended the period until the end of 2021-2022, before announcing in June 2020 that subsidies will be phased out even more gradually through 2024-2025.

El-Sisi said the people should be aware that "the current reality" is the utmost efforts to adjust and control prices, he noted.

El-Sisi exemplified his point saying that "those who transport products nationwide pay 50 percent less than the actual cost of fuel," despite the fact that the price of an oil barrel has gone up over the current global crisis to hit $120.

Moreover, up to 17 million households pay 50 percent less than the actual cost of electricity services despite the rise in its prices, he noted.

"We are keen to keep the prices of fuel and electricity unchanged," El-Sisi said, reiterating that "this is the utmost effort the state can do to tamp down price jumps and consider the conditions of low-income citizens." 

El-Sisi made his statements while attending the inauguration of the integrated animal and dairy production complex and mechanised slaughterhouses in Sadat City in Menoufiya governorate.

The projects are meant to develop livestock wealth through the genetic improvement of Egyptian breeds.

El-Sisi said if the development projects -- the livestock complex and others -- had not been implemented over the past year, the prices would have been higher.

The country's population growth was not met by an increase in resources in the past 50 years, the thing which necessitates that Egyptians increase the rate of work, the president noted.

El-Sisi reiterated his call for the private sector and NGOs to participate with the public sector in development ventures, shedding light on their competence in management and governance mechanisms.

The president stressed that cooperation between the state, private sector, and NGOs goes over and beyond the notion of investments as it became necessary to maintain the stability of the 100 million Egyptians amid the current global situation.

El-Sisi said the country does not suffer from shortages in any products despite the global crisis, noting that strategic wheat reserves are sufficient for six months. However, the government should increase wheat stockpiles as much as possible, he added.

Maximising livestock, dairy production

Today's inaugurated complex can house up to 5,000 milking livestock with a production capacity of 1.5 tons of live meat per cycle.

The complex also includes a scientific centre with a veterinary hospital and six sub-farms in addition to two incinerators for the safe disposal of biological waste.

El-Sisi inaugurated a number of livestock and dairy production projects via video conference from Sadat City as well.

These include a dairy production complex in Nubariya and two animal produce complexes in Nubariya and the New Valley. An automated slaughterhouse in the Red Sea governorate was also opened via video conference.

The projects go in line with the state's plan to maximise livestock and dairy production to meet people's needs and develop livestock wealth through the genetic improvement of Egyptian breeds.



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