Egypt will impose duties on firms that export nitrogenous fertilizers without providing their share to the local market, to help secure domestic supplies, the trade and industry minister said on Monday.
The decision will be immediately effective, Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour told a cabinet news conference.
The Egyptian government has announced a series of populist measures to make life easier for the average citizen as it charts its way through a tough political transition.
“We will impose an export duty of 400 Egyptian pounds ($58.1) per tonne on any firm breaching the decision,” Abdel Nour said, adding that firms providing their share to the local market would be exempted from the export fee.
The local market needs 12 million tonnes out of the total 20 million produced by nitrogenous fertilizer factories per year, Mounir said.
Crops to be grown in the upcoming winter season include wheat, which the country consumes heavily and of which it is the world’s largest importer. Egypt uses a mixture of domestic and imported wheat for its subsidised bread programme, which feeds millions of people.
Prices for fruit and vegetables jumped by 3.35 percent during September alone, according to the central bank. Earlier this month, the government warned merchants it would impose price controls on produce if they did not keep prices down.
The Finance Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Egypt will spend 29.6 billion Egyptian pounds on a stimulus package to get its moribund economy going, a third more than previously planned.
The statement also said the government plans to implement a minimum wage early next year which would cost the country 18 billion pounds annually.
Source: Business Recorder