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Egyptian Minister of Solidarity Abdel Khaleq will also take on food prices in latest reshuffling

The Ministry of Social Solidarity will change its name Ministry of Supply and Domestic Trade, giving the current minister Abdel Khaleq of Al Tagammu party more control over food prices

Ahram Online, Saturday 3 Dec 2011
Gouda Abdel Khalek, who served as minister social solidarity in the last administration, will remain in charge of the ministry under its new name.

In the cabinet reshuffling currently taking place under Egypt's militarily-appointed premier Kamal El-Ganzouri, he places the responsiblity for regulating food prices back on the lap of the Minister of Social Solidarity - now renamed the Ministry of Supply and Domestic Trade.

This revives a ministry that had recently been eliminated, simply transferring the post under the new name to Gouda Abdel Khaleq, who served as minister of social solidarity in the last administration.

Abdel Khaleq is a veteran leftist associated with Al-Tagammu party.

Prime Minister El-Ganzouri, who was chosen by Egypt’s ruling military junta to replace Essam Sharaf last week, has previously stated that the ministry of Supply and Domestic Trade will be mandated to face the rising prices of basic goods and food stuffs. It will also be responsible for supplying goods to limited-income citizens through its outlets.

Food prices, which account for 44 per cent of Egypt's consumer price index (CPI), dropped 0.5 per cent in October below September’s level. Egypt’s annual inflation registered 7.5 per cent in October, a significant dip from September's figure of 8.5 per cent.

The CPI, however, is expected to rebound in November and December as inflationary pressures still exists, mostly due to persistent food market inefficiencies and a lack of regulation in production, rather than any rise in household incomes.

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