Egypt's army to sell baby formula to fight monopoly practices

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Sep 2016

Two days ago, dozens of parents protested against the lack of subsidised milk powder and an increase in its price

Spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces Mohamed Samir (Photo: Courtesy of Egypt's army spokesman's official Facebook page)

Egypt's army said Saturday it will start selling baby formula at a decreased price than that offered in the market, two days after dozens of parents protested against shortages in subsidised milk powder and an increase in its price.

The decision comes after "the armed forces have noticed that companies which import baby formula have monopolised it to increase prices," an army spokesman statement posted on Facebook stated.

The statement added that the army, in its civil role, will beat the market monopoly that poses a "burden on the ordinary citizen."

In recent months, an acute US dollar shortage has made it difficult for companies to import products. The subsidised milk was sold at EGP16 ($1.8) months ago but its limited quantities caused prices to increase.

The army said it coordinated with the health ministry to start importing the same type of baby formula currently sold on the market, with the first shipment due to arrive in Egyptian ports 15 September.

The statement denied media reports that the army has already been storing baby formula to sell on the market.

The army's imported baby formula will be sold for EGP30 (around $3.4) instead of the current market price of  EGP60 (around $6.8), a 50 percent decrease, the statement added.

The armed forces, as mentioned in the statement, have previously sold basic commodities such as poultry and meat nationwide at lower than market prices to combat price increases and merchants' greed.

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