Egypt's Sisi reiterates pledge to control prices

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Apr 2016

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (Reuters)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reaffirmed on Wednesday his commitment to preventing price hikes on basic commodities ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, despite a weakening of the local currency.

"There will be no rise in the prices of basic goods, whatever happens to the [value of the] dollar...and the army and the state are responsible for this," El-Sisi said during a televised meeting with public figures and officials at Cairo's Ittihadiya Palace.

Egypt, which relies heavily on imports of wheat and other staples to feed its population of 90 million, saw its pound drop by over 14 percent of its value against the dollar last month.

The Central Bank of Egypt raised interest rates by 1.5 percentage points days after the devaluation to combat inflation, and the country’s annual headline inflation eased for the third consecutive month to 9.2 percent in March 2016.

However, the monthly consumer price index rose by 1.4 percent in March as some food commodities saw price increases, such as rice, meat, poultry, vegetables, fruits in addition to pharmaceuticals, according to official figures released earlier this week. 

El-Sisi also said that the government had established El-Reef El-Masry company, tasked with the distribution of 1.5 million feddans as part of a flagship land reclamation mega project inaugurated last December. 

He also said that within the coming two years, 50 percent of Egypt’s villages and rural areas will see sanitation networks completed.

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