PM warns black marketeers and profiteers
By Asharf Sadek:
Prime Minister Dr Moustafa Madbouli warned that the government would take deterrent measures against black marketeers, profiteers, and monopolisers of basic goods and services that were on sale to the public.
Addressing a cabinet meeting yesterday, the prime minister said that the government would work on expanding the existing social security network to include more poor and marginalised members of society.
Social Solidarity Minister Dr Ghada Walli said that her ministry had been providing financial aid totalling more than LE20 billion to 5.4 million poor families since 2014 through the 'Takaful' and 'Karama' (Dignity and Social Interdependence) programmes.
She said that the ministry would work on expanding the scope of activities of these two programmes to include more beneficiaries.
She also said that she would start a LE24.1 billion plan for raising the monthly pensions that were being paid to retired citizens. The minimum social solidarity pension that is offered by the government to retired persons stands at LE750, she said, adding that she would work on increasing that sum.
She said that the ministry would start expanding the Dignified House project, which aimed at building homes for destitute families that lived in rural areas.
“So far, the ministry has built more than 21,000 housing units for destitute families in Luxor and Suhag governorates and there is a plan to build some extra new homes for needy families in various governorates,” she said.
In addition, the ministry offered soft loans worth LE350 million for financing more than 23,000 micro business ventures that had been launched during the previous four years by needy families in various governorates.
Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kojak told the meeting that more than five million employees had benefited from the annual increment that was approved by the House of Deputies (parliament) recently for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018/2019.
Kojak said that the new state budget for FY 2018/2019 incorporated three programmes that aimed at improving the living standard of citizens and providing social justice for all Egyptians.
The first programme, he said, aimed at improving government-run hospitals and treating poor patients free of charge.
The second programme would provide natural gas for homes at a total budget of LE3.5 billion, he said, adding that the third programme aimed at developing the industrial sector at a cost of LE3 billion.
In addition, the new budget aimed at improving public utilities and creating more jobs for the nation’s youth, Kojak told the meeting.