President Abdel Fattah El Sisi visited Beni Suef governorate to inaugurate a number of development projects in the presence of acting prime Minister and Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouli and a number of ministers and senior officials.
Ambassador Bassam Rady، official spokesman for the Presidency، said that Supply Minister Ali Moselhi briefed the President about the ministry's role، especially with regard to securing staple commodities and strategic commodities reserves.
Moselhi said the ministry secures strategic reserves of main commodities، topped by wheat، sugar and oil.
He thanked President Sisi for securing 1.7 billion dollars for buying staple commodities.
As for oil production، he said there is cooperation with the Agriculture Ministry to allocate more lands for planting oilseed crops.
He said Egypt imports about 97 percent of edible oil، and has oil refining factories.
President Sisi has ordered developing these factories to produce oil within the framework of plans to meet 30 percent of oil needs and importing the rest.
Moseli cited the efforts exerted - under directives of President Sisi - to reduce meat prices from 140 pounds to 110-120. He said that the price drop was not accidental.
He added that the butane gas cylinders crisis which Egypt faced in past years، especially during the months of January and February، has vanished thanks to cooperation with the Petroleum Ministry.
Meanwhile، Moselhi lauded the efforts exerted by President Sisi to up silos storage capacity from 1.2 million tons to 4 million tons.
President Sisi has taken a historic decision to up subsidy money from 21 pounds per person to 50 pounds per person، the minister said.
Moselhi said internal trade will see a marked boost this year. President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi praised the ministries’ efforts to cope with modern technology and controlling prices. With regard to the social affairs، the official spokesman added that Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali talked about challenges facing Egypt، especially declining growth rates that led to the increase of unemployment rates، inflation and prices.
Speaking about the cash subsidy program، Wali said the program aims at providing monthly financial transfers to about 2 to 3 millions of the most needy families.
She said the ministry updated the database of all needy families to include those taking "Takaful and Karama" pensions or social pensions or those taking financial assistance from non-governmental organizations.
Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali said the government spends 15 billion pounds on Takaful and Karama program which mainly focuses on poor families in Upper Egypt because the size of investments in Upper Egypt governorates is less than the other governorates.
She noted that 13 out of the 15 million pounds set for the program is channeled to Upper Egypt governorates.
Under the Takaful program، poor households will receive monthly income support based on an incentive-system related to school attendance and utilizing maternal and child health care services.
Karama is an unconditional income support that aims at protecting and reaching out to poor elderly people above 65 years and those with severe disabilities.
Wali unveiled ongoing cooperation with other ministries to support needy families in Egypt، citing an agreement with the Housing Ministry that provided 1،700 units for needy ones over the past four years.
She said the ministry relies on its database to assess the economic and social level of families and help them get interest-free loans from Nasser bank.
As for handicapped persons، Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali said the ministry announced 2018 as the Year for People with Disabilities، making clear that 5 billion pounds were provided in cash assistance to disabled persons or families having handicapped members.
We have 365،000 disabled persons in 640 rehabilitation facilities benefiting from the ministry's assistance، she added.
Also، 5 percent of social housing units are being dedicated to disabled persons، she said، referring to the parliament's approval of the first law regulating the rights of disabled people.
Wali referred to her ministry's efforts to increase income of poor families، citing the implementation of 57،000 micro projects over the past four years، the organization of more cottage industries exhibitions across the nation and holding training courses for young members of poor families to qualify them to work in factories and other jobs.
On the other hand، Head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) Mohammad Erfan said the industrial zone in Beni Suef has recently witnessed a notable growth in the number of projects and investments.
The volume of investments exceeded EGP 6 billion، a figure which has been doubled six times compared to the figures of 2010، he said، noting that foreign investors in the area are from Korea، Singapore، China، Saudi Arabia and Syria.
Erfan cited as an example of successful investment stories in the Beni Suef industrial zone، Samsung Factory، which occupies an area of 360،000 cubic meters، saying that its production is provided to the local market and exported to Middle East and South Africa markets. The value of its production in 2017 hit dlrs 670 million، he said، adding that more than 50 percent of the products' components are locally made.
He went on to say that today's inaugurated projects are covering the health، road and facilities sectors. He pointed out that among those projects are the Beni Suef Public Hospital، Luxor Public Hospital and Arment Specialized Hospital. Erfan extended thanks to the committee assigned with purchasing medical equipment for public hospitals، noting that it has saved up EGP 7.4 billion while purchasing vital equipment needed in Sharm El Sheikh alone. The President stressed the importance of following up the industrial zone in Beni Suef and other industrial zones and forming a committee of concerned parties to consider solving the problems and evaluating their work from the environmental and planning perspective. The president confirmed that the government would implement 3،000 small factories in Upper Egypt governorates by the end of 2018.