Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy said commodity prices have not increased since last May, adding that prices of several products, such as meat, have in fact dropped.
The drop in prices has in turn allowed chain stores to respond with new reduced prices.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb held a meeting Monday with Hanafy, the CEO of Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC), and heads of subsidiaries. The meeting was a follow-up on the development of nationwide consumption centres, and provision of basic goods and price control.
“In this chamber, there is a practical comparison between commodity prices in chain stores and consumption centres, confirming that prices for the same commodities declined at consumption centres. This is proven by invoices,” added the minister in a Cabinet statement on Monday.
He emphasised that food commodities were provided to consumption centres, especially meat, with competitive market prices, which resulted in a sense of relief among citizens.
Hanafy reflected on the monthly sales rate, pointing out that Sudanese meat were sold for EGP 35 per kilo. Currently 220 cattle are slaughtered everyday as demand on meat is very high.
“Basic commodities are available for citizens at mobile points of sale in areas that lack consumption centres. Also, a weekly plan for mobile marketing is being developed to meet the demands of highly populated areas, and new urban communities,” Hanafy said. “We also contracted with specialised companies to clean the centres and companies. A uniform has been provided for all employees of the centres.”
The minister pointed out that enough quantities of cooking oil have been contracted to suffice for consumption till the end of July – a total of 172,000 tonnes – with a value of EGP 1.5bn. A supply of Brazilian poultry, 23,300 tonnes, was also contracted.
Furthermore, a contract is currently being signed with the National Poultry Company for the supply of local poultry worth EGP 18 per chicken. Strict commodity control will be enforced so they are not sold for prices higher than specified.
The minister revealed that officials of the Holding Company for Food Industries (HCFI), which is owned by the country and is affiliated with Ministry of Supply, completed the revamp of 53 centres from July to December 2014, while 67 centres are under development through four phases that will end in mid-May.
According to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb: “Consumption centres have been neglected for many years and we are now taking care of them and seeing positive results from their reformation. The effect is clear on the street, as these centres are a very strong safety valve for the provision of food products with affordable prices to citizens”.