Ali Moslehi (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The personal information of 19 million beneficiaries of Egypt's food subsidy card system is being revised and updated, supply minister Ali Moselhi announced on Saturday according to state news agency MENA.
The 19 million beneficiaries hold 5.5 million subsidy cards out of a total 18 million smart cards benefitting 74.5 million people.
The information to be updated includes citizens' names, addresses, IDs and the number of family members registered on each card.
The minister said that the registered information for the remaining 55 million beneficiaries is accurate and up to date.
Moselhi said that some 4.5 million forms have been printed for distribution to groceries in governorates throughout the country for citizens to update their personal details.
Card holder have 60 days to update their information, which they can also do through the ministry’s website, Moselhy said.
The supply minister said that the subsidy includes sugar, cooking oil and rice, while tomato sauce, chicken, lentil and cheese are not included.
Moselhi added that each holder of the smart card will receive one kilo of rice, one kilo of sugar and one bottle of cooking oil. He added that the holder can opt for something else if they do not want sugar or oil.
In mid 2014, Egypt introduced the food subsidy system, which entitles citizens provided with smart cards to a monthly ration.
Egypt’s total subsidy bill in the coming fiscal year (2017/18) is estimated at EGP 385 billion, up from EGP 285 billion in the current fiscal year, finance minister Amr El-Garhy told Al-Ahram daily in an interview published last Tuesday.
Egypt started a fiscal reform programme in July 2014 in an attempt to curb the growing state budget deficit through cutting subsidies, introducing new taxes and floating the Egyptian pound, which took place last November.