CAIRO – 26 April 2017: Fixed pricing is not economically convenient for Egypt right now as the state applies the rules of the free market economy, Minister of Supply Aly Meselhi said Monday in a press conference in Beni Suef, South of Cairo.
During the past few days, a number of local newspapers discussed a demand made by Member of Parliament Mohamed Zain el-Din to the Chairman of Parliament Ali Abd al-aal calling the government to apply fixed pricing in order to control prices in the local market.
Prices of goods are determined according to the free market rules of supply and demand, and any talks on fixed prices are to no avail, Meselhi added. Until now, there is no official statement that the government has a plan to set fixed prices, but there are many governmental statements on procedures to control prices.
The raising voices toward the necessity of having fixed prices comes from the high inflation rate which hit the Egyptian market since the flotation of the Egyptian pound last November. The increase reached around 100% in prices of some goods.
“We don’t care about fixed pricing, all what we need is to determine a price ceiling for the products by the government, as low-income citizens are facing a problematic situation and cannot afford it anymore,” Chairman of Anti Expensiveness Citizens’ Association Mahmoud Askalany told Egypt Today. He added that his association presented his idea of determining a price ceiling to the government, but there is a clear refusal from the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FECC).
Hamdy El-Naggar, Member of Board of Directors at FECC, told Egypt Today that any attempt to impose fixed prices on goods and commodities would create a horrible black market, goods smuggling, and expected very high prices, not decreasing as planned.
The governmental Consumer Protection Agency’s head, Atef Yacoub clarified that the state does not have a clear plan to apply fixed pricing.“There are many subsidized selling points provided by various governmental parts like Supply Ministry, Agriculture Ministry and the Armed forces as well.
This is a means by which the government targets to control prices in the market,” Yacoub added.
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