Egypt's PM Madbouly warns against price gouging; vows 'strict' action against violators

Ahram Online , Saturday 29 Oct 2022

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has issued a warning against stashing, overpricing, or monopolising commodities in the local market, affirming that violators will face “strict” legal action, according to a cabinet statement on Saturday.

Egypt s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly


Madbouly was speaking during a meeting with the country's 27 governors, where he issued instruction to continue operating monitoring mechanisms to control the market and ensure the availability of commodities.

Madbouly assured that the public is aware of the global crisis and the rising inflation rates in various countries, adding that even with the current circumstances, the government will continue to supply commodities, introduce multiple societal initiatives, and launch social safety net packages.

Madbouly said he instructed the country's Consumer Protection Agency to receive citizens' complaints, noting that the government will be following up on all measures taken against any trader attempting to exploit the current circumstances.

The government is coordinating with the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Egyptian Industries to ensure that products are available.

He added that the government will also continue to exert efforts to supply markets and outlets with as many commodities as possible, in coordination with all governorates, the supply ministry, the Armed Forces, and other relevant bodies.

Egypt’s annual headline inflation rose to 15.3 percent in September, up from 8 percent in September 2021, the highest level seen since recording 15.7 percent in November 2018.

To anchor inflation projections, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) raised the key interest rates in an unscheduled meeting on Thursday by two percent (200 bps), announcing it was adopting "a durably flexible exchange rate regime.

Following the decision, the Egyptian pound slumped to its lowest level against the US dollar, with the average exchange rate at various major banks in Egypt registering EGP 23, up from EGP 19.7 a day prior.

On Wednesday, the government announced a new EGP 67 billion social protection package that includes increasing the minimum wage for public employees – who number more than 5 million – from EGP 2,700 to EGP 3,000.

The package also includes exceptional bonuses to public employees and pensioners of the state administrative apparatus and state-affiliated companies of EGP 300 to meet the cost of living.

The government also announced the postponement of a scheduled hike in household electricity prices to ease burdens on low-income citizens, and raising the exemption limit on annual tax incomes for citizens from EGP 24,000 to EGP 30,000 annually.

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