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Government moves to contain anger toward price increases and control markets - Daily News Egypt

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Government moves to contain anger toward price increases and control markets

Prime Minister meets local development ministers, governors, and security leaders to control markets and follow up on traffic situation

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb  (AFP File Photo)
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb
(AFP File Photo)

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb tasked the government Tuesday with intensifying traffic and security campaigns to control traffic violations and prevent passenger exploitation in light of a new transportation tariff.

The government has introduced a 10-15% increase to transport tariffs after petrol prices were hiked as part of the subsidy system reform.

“We aim to control random parking and are studying the presence of alternative locations for parking,” Mehleb said.

Joint campaigns launched by several government bodies will also be conducted to monitor markets continuously and to control price increase violations.

Egypt increased fuel prices on Saturday by 40-175%. Natural gas prices for cement, iron, and steel factories increased by 30-75% as part of economic reforms and to reduce subsidies that devoured 20% of the general budget.

All markets witnessed price surges after the government increased petroleum product rates and decreased energy subsidies. The move was made to address the budget deficit and decrease public debt, yet it left citizens feeling angry.

Mehleb said: “Our goal in decreasing subsidies and changing prices is comprehensive economic reform that will address deformities in the state budget and subsidise what is worthy.”

He continued: “We hope to activate the role of regulatory agencies, especially the Consumer Protection Agency, and study the institution’s development in order to establish regional branches in various governorates.”

A press release issued by the cabinet said Mehleb had called for stickers to be affixed to public transport vehicles clarifying the routes and the new rates. This would also occur alongside an increase in the number of public buses in operation during the day.

A law enforcement presence will be visible to eliminate parking violations and prevent overcharging of customers. The presence will be felt in all field locations to solve any citizens’ difficulties and prevent law violations.

The ministerial economic group held a meeting on Monday to discuss the implications of the government’s decisions to raise cigarette and alcohol taxes amid market troubles.

“We are fighting to protect citizens from merchants’ greed in markets and on transit, and we have allocated EGP 1.4bn to improve the transportation system and provide 1000 buses to combat a few groups’ monopoly over transit,” said Najla Al-Ahwani, Minister of International Cooperation in a press conference following the meeting.

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