| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Egypt government moves to control currency exchange rate

The Egyptian government pledged to “control the market,” stressing that the US dollar crisis is on its way to being resolved.


It has also sought to crack down on currency dealers in the “black market.”


The value of the Egyptian pound declined against the US dollar following the Central Bank’s decision in October to move to a flexible exchange rate, describing it as one of the conditions for obtaining an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.


Cairo received the first tranche of the IMF loan in December, which led to a wave of “high prices.”


Government spokesman Nader Saad confirmed in televised statements that the US dollar crisis is on its way to being solved, adding that there are commodities worth $8.5 billion in the ports and that the coming period would witness the release of items worth $3.4 billion.


“The past period witnessed a significant breakthrough in the release of goods from the ports, which had a positive impact and increased supply in the markets,” he explained.


Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly vowed in a press statement on Saturday to release the goods in the ports, according to a plan that includes paying suppliers’ arrears gradually.


The recent period witnessed a discrepancy in the exchange rate of the dollar, as its value in the official market amounted to EGP24.6, while its value in the unofficial market rose to about EGP38 before it fell to about EGP28 in recent days, with the government taking measures regarding the “black market.”


The Ministry of Interior arrested two persons who tried to smuggle foreign currency through Cairo Airport, in violation of Egyptian monetary law, according to an official statement.


The security services also arrested three persons for their illegal trade in foreign exchange via Facebook.


The government’s media center highlighted in a press statement the state’s effort over the past eight years in establishing a comprehensive social protection system, asserting that it remains a top priority.


It noted the social safety net program, Takaful and Karama, for cash transfers, saying it is among the most significant investments in human capital development. It also said the Decent Life initiative contributed to improving the living conditions of rural communities.


The media center indicated that total support, grants, and social benefits increased by 50.2 percent after it reached EGP343.4 billion in 2021/2022, compared to EGP228.6 billion in 2013/2014.


The value of cash support increased to EGP20 billion after implementing the Takaful and Karama programs, compared to EGP5 billion in 2013/2014.


Food subsidies increased to EGP96.8 billion in 2021/2022, compared to EGP35.5 billion in 2013/2014, and minimum wages rose to EGP3,000 pounds in 2022 from EGP1,200 in 2014.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat