News

Egypt’s Smart Card Subsidy System to be Run by Military

Egypt’s Smart Card Subsidy System to be Run by Military

Army soldiers preparing food pack as a step intended to overcome economic hardships (Photo courtesy of Egypt's Army spokesman page on Facebook)
Army soldiers preparing food pack as a step intended to overcome economic hardships (Photo courtesy of Egypt’s Army spokesman page on Facebook)

Egypt’s Armed Forces is taking over the country’s smart card subsidy system, taking control from the Ministry of Planning, Reuters reported.

“The move comes in the context of developing this system which aims to ease pressure on citizens and provide the best service when it comes to bread,” a statement from Prime Minister Sherif Ismail reads.

Egypt has long provided its citizens with subsidized goods, most notably bread, oil and sugar and introduced a “smart card” program in 2013 that works to ration these subsidized goods via an electronic system. The new program was also aimed at closing potential windows for corruption; some bakers selling subsidized bread, for example, would buy flour at the discounted rate and resell it at the regular rate.

Last month, Egypt’s Minister of Supply Mohamed Ali Sheikh said that his ministry would be reviewing methods to eliminate wastefulness in the smart card program, including cutting off individuals who have died or emigrated since being added to the program.

Sheikh also said that the Central Bank had allocated USD 1.8 billion to secure a six-month supply of basic goods and that the supply ministry would be coordinating with the country’s Armed Forces on this matter.

The military taking the reins of the country’s smart card system is the latest example of its involvement in the country’s economy, which has raised eyebrows in the past.

In addition to being responsible for many infrastructure projects, including building new roads and bridges, the military has also intervened in the last year on a number of occasions to pump certain goods, such as subsidized infant formula and sugar, into the market when supply ran dry.

Last month, Prime Minister Ismail said that the army’s extensive role in the economy is “beneficial” because the military is organized and has the necessary capabilities to assist the state.

He also said that he expects the military’s role in the economy to be reduced in two to three years.

 

Egyptian Pound to Trade at Weaker Rates Before Stabilizing at 13 per USD: Report
Egypt's President Sisi Invites Trump to Cairo, First to Congratulate Him for Victory

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Protesters gather to demonstrate Egypt's decision to declare two Red Sea islands as Saudi Arabian. Khaled Ali, pictured, brought a case to the Administrative Court against the decision. Credit: Belal Darder

Egypt’s Constitutional Court Rules Against Interior Minister Authority to Ban Protests

Aya NaderDecember 3, 2016
pablo-4

Egypt’s Foreign Minister in ‘First Meeting’ Between Arab Official and US Vice President-elect

Egyptian StreetsDecember 1, 2016
A street in Luxor.

UK Court Allows British Woman to Adopt Girl ‘Found in a Box’ in Egypt’s Luxor

Egyptian StreetsNovember 30, 2016
egypt parliament

Egypt’s Parliament Passes Controversial NGO Law

Aswat MasriyaNovember 30, 2016
The arrival hall is empty at the Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in south Sinai, Egypt, Monday. Airbus executives say they are confident in the safety of the A321 that crashed Oct. 31 in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Photo: AP

UN World Tourism Organization Urges UK to Return Flights to Sharm El-Sheikh

Egyptian StreetsNovember 29, 2016
Ministry_of_Foreign_Affairs_of_Egypt_Cairo

No Egyptian Soldiers Fighting in Syria: Egypt’s Foreign Ministry

Egyptian StreetsNovember 28, 2016
Archive Photo. Credit: Asmaa Waguih/ Reuters

Al-Jazeera Documentary on Egyptian Conscripts Reignites Media War with Qatar

Aswat MasriyaNovember 27, 2016
RiseUp 2015, which saw the presence of over 4000 attendees

Cairo to Attract 5,000 Investors and Entrepreneurs in RiseUp Summit Next Month

Nayrouz TalaatNovember 26, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.