CAIRO: Opposition MPs called for the resignation of the government over its mismanagement of the current bread crisis at the Peoples’ Assembly (PA) session Tuesday night.
At the session independent MP Talaat Al-Sadat said, “The government should leave, and asked the Minister for Social Solidarity Ali El Moselhi to “jump off the sinking ship.
“There is something wrong when the Central Security forces, which used to beat us, now provides us with bread, Al-Sadat added, referring to President Hosni Mubarak’s orders to the army to bake bread for the population.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mufid Shehab Eldin said in the session that the crisis didn’t emerge from shortages in wheat or flour, but rather it was “constituted in poor management, follow-up and accounting.
“The government failed completely in this matter, and Talaat Al-Sadat has already called for investigations and removal from office. He predicted this would happen and he directly accused the Ministry of Social Solidarity of failing to handle the crisis [effectively], El Sayed Saadany, spokesman for Al-Sadat, told Daily News Egypt.
While all agreed at the session that there was a serious bread crisis, NDP and opposition MPs differed over the reasons, with the opposition attributing it to government mismanagement while the NDP members lay the blame squarely at the doorstep of bread distributors.
“There is no wheat crisis in Egypt, because the wheat we possess is enough to produce 210 million loaves per day, which is equal to three per person.
The crisis came about because the bakers are selling subsidized bread in the black market, NDP MP Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah told Daily News Egypt.He said that wheat which the government sold to bakers for LE 16 per sack was being sold off by them in the black market for LE 260.
“The government has decided to separate bread production from distribution so bakeries have to produce the bread while the government distributes. We intend to prosecute the bakers who are doing this for embezzling the people’s food, Kwaitah added.
“NDP policy is behind this failure, Saadany said, “or we wouldn’t have heard of deaths at breadlines. The crisis still exists and proof of this is the queues. This is a crisis created by the NDP and the Ministry of Social Solidarity which encouraged this black market.
However, Kwaitah said the bread crisis was on the verge of being averted.