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By Ashraf Sadek:

CAIRO, July 11, 2018 - President Abdel Fattah El Sisi Wednesday instructed the government to continue controlling market prices, combatting fraudulent practices, and offering subsidised basic foods to the rightful recipients.

The president issued the instructions during  a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Moustafa Madbouli, the ministers of defence, the interior, justice, finance, supply, tourism and agriculture, and the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Authority and the head of the Administrative Control Authority.

During the meeting, the president stressed the importance of protecting the rights of citizens, increasing the amount of subsidies offered to them and providing basic commodities to citizens at affordable prices, Presidency Spokesman Ambassador Bassam Radi said.

The measures adopted by the Ministry of Supply to reform the distribution system and put an end to any problems, were also discussed during the meeting, the spokesman added.

The minister of supply told the meeting that his ministry was reviewing the databases of the system. He added that the databases would be updated every day through safe cards and a proper data network.

These measures would largely contribute to protecting the rights of the deserving recipients as well as to reforming the distribution system for subsidised basic commodities, Ambassador Radi said.

The meeting also reviewed the latest measures adopted by the ministry for providing basic commodities to citizens and making sufficient quantities available at the government’s mobile and fixed outlets, Spokesman Radi said.

President Sisi said it was necessary to conduct  a daily follow-up of the implementation of the measures required to control and monitor the markets. That, the president said, would contribute to providing commodities in adequate amounts and ensuring the availability of the highest quality commodities at the best price.

During the meeting, President Sisi gave directives to the government to keep up efforts to upgrade the quality of potable water and increase public awareness of the need to rationalise water consumption, Ambassador Radi said

The president also reviewed with the ministers the latest developments pertaining to a set of ongoing projects for building new water treatment and sea-water desalination facilities nationwide. Work on these projects was progressing well according to a pre-set timetable, Ambassador Radi said in his round-up of the meeting.

Minister of Tourism Rania el-Mashat submitted to the president a report on the steps that had been taken to develop the tourism sector as a whole, Presidency Spokesman Radi said.

The report showed that her ministry was making a great effort and was working on providing more and improved facilities to attract more tourists in the future.

Minister Mashat said that she was keen to increase the quality and efficiency of the country’s tourist destinations and to increase investment in the human factor to ensure a happy experience for tourists in Egypt, a matter that encourages them to return.

A recent ministry report has indicated that Egypt witnessed a remarkable increase in tourist numbers in 2017, which is a promising indication that the sector is improving.

The meeting also reviewed the latest developments pertaining to the economic reform programme, which the government launched two years ago.

The newly-appointed Finance Minister, Dr Mohamed Maeet, pledged that he would continue achieving the objectives of the economic reform programme in accordance with the presidential directives.

President Sisi confirmed the importance of keeping up the government’s efforts to boost the economy and maintain monetary stability.

CAIRO, July 8, 2018 (MENA) – President Abdel Fattah El Sisi directed officials to boost the measures of domestic trade and tighten market controls.

Sisi’s remarks came during his meeting with Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli and Minister of Supplies and Internal Trade Aly el Meselhi, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said.

The president also asked them to explore the potentials of holding a partnership between the private and public sectors along with giant international retailers for establishing supply chains in Egypt; benefiting from the potentials of the huge Egyptian market.

Sisi also demanded the government to pay a special interest to the micro and small enterprises, and provide it will all the facilities and support, especially those targeted the female breadwinner.

He reviewed with Aly el Meselhi the strategic stock of rice, and gave his nod for rice imports.

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.