The Cabinet agreed to disburse a grant worth LE1 billion to ration card holders in the holy month of Ramadan, the Ministers of Finance, Social Solidarity and Supply announced.
The grant will be disbursed to ration card holders over the course of one month to confront recent price hikes, Finance Minister Amr al-Garhy said in a joint press conference at the Cabinet on Tuesday.
The sum will be taken from this fiscal year’s General Budget, he told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
After studying the grant with the Finance Ministry upon request of the Parliament, the Cabinet took the decision, said Supply Minister Ali Moselhy.
Each citizen will receive LE14, to be disbursed in Ramadan after dividing the LE1 billion among ration card holders, the minister added.
An dditional 2 kg of sugar will be added for each citizen. Citizens can also choose LE14 worth of other basic commodities beside sugar, said Moselhy.
Ghada Waly, the Minister of Social Solidarity, said the measure was part of the social protection package and was decided for Ramadan only.
The government is considering increasing subsidies on ration cards by 29 percent to LE27 ($1.5) per month in the next fiscal year (2017-2018) to ease the impact of the economic reform program on low-income people, the Finance Ministry said at the end of March.
Egypt supports 68.8 million citizens through 20.8 million ration cards. The government allocates LE21 per month for every citizen who is registered on the ration cards system to buy basic goods, according to Reuters.
“We are already considering increasing the individual’s share of subsidies in the ration card in the next fiscal year’s budget to LE27 to alleviate the impact of the economic reform program on low-income people,” a senior Finance Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm