Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Bassem Auda said that determining bread rations per capita will only be a trial phase.
In a press conference held at the ministry’s headquarters on Saturday, Auda stated that the ration per capita would be determined according to the consumption of each governorate, reported state-owned news agency MENA.
Auda stated that the ministry is currently trying to achieve a set of four goals, reported MENA.
“The bread foundation is a failed, corrupt one,” Auda said, adding that the ministry’s goals aim at reforming the institution. “Almost EGP 21bn is spent on subsidising bread per year; EGP 11bn is wasted on the black market.”
The first goal is to liberalise flour prices, subsidising only bread loaves. This would take 29 piastres off the cost of each loaf of bread, bringing the total cost to 5 piastres. The ministry’s second goal is to raise the quality of the bread.
The third goal is to face the “unjustifiable” price hikes within the internal market, and the fourth is to control the petroleum institution and make sure that petroleum products reach the people.
The decision to ration bread was met with criticism.
“Three loaves per person is not enough,” a middle-aged woman who preferred to remain anonymous said. “I can be content with three loaves; I have diabetes, yet my children each eat at least five loaves per day.”
Managing a family which consists of seven members, the woman said she pays 150 piastres per day, the worth of 30 loaves of bread. “A co-worker in the hospital I work in eats around ten loaves per day,” the woman said.
“Three loaves of bread would’ve been enough back in the day when the loaf was large and well-baked,” said Ahmed Al-Gazzar, a middle-aged street vendor. “Now what they sell us isn’t bread; it’s more like biscuits. I eat over six loaves per day and remain hungry.”
Al-Gazzar said that his two children eat around eight loaves of bread per day. “The stomach is never thankful,” Al-Gazzar said, citing a popular expression. “If they determine bread rations, people will go mad! They want to share even our food? Are we animals so that they determine our food rations?”
No clear schedule for applying the bread ration is available as of yet.