November 16, 2019 / 2:57 PM / 24 days ago

Egypt to reduce subsidised staple food prices

CAIRO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Egypt will lower prices of subsidised food staples from December, the state news agency MENA quoted Supply Minister Ali Moselhy as saying on Saturday.

A bottle of cooking oil will cost 8.5 Egyptian pounds ($0.53) instead of 9.5, the price of sugar will decrease to 8.5 pounds per kilogram from nine, that of rice will be reduced to eight per kilogram from nine and flour will go down to 6.50 pounds per bag from 6.75, Moselhy said.

He did not give a reason for the price cuts.

In October, a total of 1.8 million Egyptians were returned to the food subsidy programme after an order from the president.

They had been removed earlier this year when the supply ministry started to sift through the system to weed out people whose income was believed to be too high to warrant access to cheap rice, pasta and other items.

Their re-inclusion in the programme followed small but rare protests in Cairo and other cities on Sept. 20.

The protests were sparked by calls for demonstrations against alleged graft and waste by the president and the powerful military, accusations President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi denies.

$1 = 16.0900 Egyptian pounds Reporting by Omar Fahmy, writing by Amina Ismail, editing by Clelia Oziel

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