Egypt in a week: new loans, military satellite receiver, price increases

EGYPT WATCH

The Secretary General of the Peasants Syndicate is set to announce a quick plan to control prices in the Egyptian market within hours, and has told Al-Masry Al-Youm: “If the price of tomatoes increase, we will use sauce. And we can cut out lemon and eggs.”
Sada el-Balad has broadcast about the reduction of bread subsidies. The Ministry of Supply has stated that a new food subsidy system would start from August 1. The citizen’s share of subsidised bread will be reduced from 5 to 3 loaves but he will receive this reduction as cash or any other commodity.
Electricity
The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy has started applying the 14.9 per cent increase of electricity prices. The increase will be applied on electricity bills by the end of July according to Masrawy, to be distributed as follows: the first segment from zero to 50 Kw, 30 piasters/Kw/H. The second segment from 51 to 100 Kw, 40 piasters/Kw/H. From zero to 200 Kw, 50 piasters/Kw/H.
In response to the electricity price rise the newspaper Akhbar el-Yom has written a news piece entitled: “17 pieces of advice for electricity consumption; avoiding the high bill.”
Gasoline
It seems that websites and newspapers are paving the way for an imminent gasoline price increase. Masrawy wrote about gasoline prices in Arabian countries: “Egypt, Kuwait and Algeria are the cheapest.” The same news website advises avoiding this increase completely by using something else. The website added, “after gasoline increases, step by step how to make your car work using natural gas.”
Al-Wafd newspaper wrote that on Thursday morning the Ministry of Petroleum hinted that there was an expected increase in fuel prices and the ministry alarmed its general secretaries to open the operating room as of today at 8am.
Mada Masr website tweeted away from the flock of these newspapers and magazines that it has published a detailed report about the fuel prices prepared by Beesan Kassab entitled: “Remove subsides for fuel. When will this be applied and how will it influence the prices?” For more details see this link.
On Friday morning, Egyptian woke up to the news of the new prices: EGP 9 up from EGP 7.75 for petrol 95, EGP 8 up from EGP 6.75 for petrol 92, EGP 6.75 up from EGP 5.5 for petrol 80.
Supply subsidies 
The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trading announced last Monday the exclusion of 10 segments from the supply subsidies, according to  Akhbar el-Yom.
The second stage standards of non-eligible persons included the exclusion of whomever electricity consumption was more than 650 Kw/ month, whomever had a cellphone invoice of more than 800 EGP/ month, whomever the school fees of one of his sons was more than EGP 30,000 a year, whomever possesses a luxury car or a 2014 car and beyond, besides whomever works in a senior administrative position, without prejudice to pensioners.
While the third stage standards included the exclusion of whomever the average of school fees of his sons more than EGP 20,000, whomever possesses more than 10 acres of land, whomever pays more than EGP 100,000 for taxes, the owners of companies whose capital exceeds EGP 10 million, and whomever possesses more than one 2011 car and beyond or a single 2015 car and beyond.
In this regard the Minister of Supply commented: “Whomever his income is more than EGP 10,000 won’t receive any supply subsidies,” according to Masrawy. The minister added that “every citizen has the right to receive its full share of support away from opportunists or exploitation, there must be a disciplined, respectful system.”
The Dollar
The dollar lost 7 piasters against the pound within two days according to Al-Masry Al-Youmwhich quoted a banking expert that the cause is the increase of foreign currency supply in banks and currency exchange bureau and the decrease of demand, and he expected a continuing decline in the next period to break the barrier of EGP 16.50 within a week.
In this respect Akhbar el-Yom quoted a video in which Tawfik Okasha says: “The dollar will decrease to 5 EGP.” He added, “The glorious German investment itself has increased to just $7 billion, and ours has increased to 8 billion. That means by the end of the year it will reach $29 billion profits from exports.”
Pensions
There is good news from the government in Akhbar el-Yom concerning the payment of July pensions with the new augmentation. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly gave his instructions to the Minister of Social Solidarity to prepare an operating room to follow up the process of July pensions payments in the entire country for 9.8 pensioners and beneficences, starting from next Monday July 1 for the pensions paid by insurance funds. He also gave his instructions to take all the necessary measures to  prepare the ATMs and pension’s payment to overcome barriers for pensioners and eligible people.  
The Minster of Social Solidarity emphasised that the augmentation decision came in favour of the lower pensions segments; that the minimum level of this augmentation is 150 EGP/month and the maximum level is 832.5 EGP/month, besides the amount due is calculated regarding the entire pension and its augmentations to 6-30-2019.
Loans
The World Bank has approved the extra funding for the Takaful and Karama project, which will be $500 million from the World Bank for “social safety nets,” according to Masrawy. 
There is another loan worth $25 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The bank explained that the private sector will benefit from a new loan worth $25 million which will be paid to the United Industrial Co. for Metals, copper pars manufacture and supply company for many local producers. EBRD paid a previous loan worth $25 million to the same company in 2017, according to Sada el-Balad website.
Military receiver
The Arab Organisation for Industrialisation, one of the pillars of the military industry in Egypt, has introduced its first digital receiver supported by satellite and terrestrial services, according to Al-Ahram.
Al-Watan has published a news item entitled “the prices and sales outlets of the satellite terrestrial receiver,” and added that you can get the receiver from Arab Organisation For Industrialisation outlets for EGP 300.
Wages
The government has approved the minimum wage. Al Shorouk reports that the council of ministers approved during his meeting today the draft decision of approving the minimum wage for state, public bodies and public economic bodies’ officials and workers who are assigned and non-assigned by the civil service law under 79/2019 law of general budget allocation of the financial year 2019-2020.
This law has been prepared to determine the minimum wage of salaried state officials. The draft decision has included that the minimum total wage received by any employee or worker as of July 2019 as follows: the excellent grade 7,000 EGP/month; the high grade 5,000 EGP/month; the general manager 4,000 EGP/month; the first grade 3,500 EGP/month; the second grade 3,000 EGP/month, the third grade 2,600 EGP/month, the fourth grade 2,400 EGP/month, the fifth grade 2,200 EGP/month and the sixth grade 2,000 EGP/month.
Judiciary
The administrative court canceled a governmental decision to tax iron ore. According to Al-Aharam, the administrative court has canceled the decision of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Small Industries No. 346 that impose 15 per cent fees on belt (iron ore) import. The court committed the decision to the college of commissioners to provide input.
The president of the metal industries chamber Jamal al-Garhy said that the decision has come in favour of the national industry. Al-Garhy emphasised the state protection of the investment environment in the various sectors, then he added that the steel industry was collapsing as a result of shutting down of 22 steel rolling factories.
The steel rolling group, a combination of 22 factories, opposed the decision of the Industry Ministry, then issued a statement within three days that said the group had submitted documents confirming the damage, which affects the steel industry as a result of the decision to increase taxes, according to Masrawy.
Human rights
New defendants have been accused in “the plan of hope,” according to al-Manassa. Among them is the labour activist Fatima Ramadan and al-Ghad party founder Ayman Nour, who resides in Turkey. The defence panel insisted the defendants were remanded until they had inspected the prosecutor’s decision, as mentioned by Mohamed Eissa, part of the defence panel.
The court insisted the defendants “couldn’t be moved from custody,” according to Eissa, in response to complaints from Eissa and other lawyers about their clients being prevented from attending the court session.
Al-Manassa website has published that several demands have been made to allow the lawyer Mohamed Ramadan to see his mother after she was moved to intensive care. Several lawyers have filed demands to release Mohamed Ramadan and allow him to visit his ill mother. Ramadan is being held in pre-trial detention under the case known as the “yellow vests.”
Alaa Abd El-Fattah has taken legal action against the President, the Minister of Interior, the Giza Security Chief, the Giza Governor and the Doqqi Police Station Chief to allow him to take a laptop and mobile phone into the police station from 6pm to 6am, according to The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, as mentioned by Mada Masr.
Syndicates
According to Al Shorouk 17 candidates are competing to be President of the Musicians’ Syndicate. The most prominent candidates are Hussien Khairy and Mona Mina.
The Bar Association declared on Al-Watan newspaper that there will be no extension of the subscription renewal of 2016 card holders. 
An Al-Watan headline read: “Withdrawal of the land allocated to journalists’ hospital.” A source from the Journalists Syndicate has said that the Ministry of Housing and 6th Of October City Authority submitted a letter to the syndicate reporting the withdrawal of land which was allocated to construct hospitals for journalists in 6th Of October City.

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