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Cabinet denies rumors on fuel prices, health sector, bread susbidy

CAIRO – 2 July 2020: The media center of the cabinet denied on Thursday a number of media reports on bread subsidy, taxes on bank deposits, health sector, agricultural products and endowment.
No hike in fuel prices
The Cabinet dismissed reports about planned hikes in gasoline and diesel prices, following the approval of amendments to a law on the state‘s financial resources development fees.
The Cabinet Media Center in a statement issued Thursday said, it contacted the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in this regard and they both affirmed that there is no planned increase in fuel prices.
The report called on all media outlets to verify the authenticity of all news reports before publishing them, in order not to stir public opinion.
No taxes to be levied on bank deposits
The reports claimed that the Finance Ministry will levy taxes on Egyptians' deposits in banks in a bid to ease the negative repercussions of the coronavirus epidemic on the national economy.
The center said it contacted the ministry that dismissed as groundless such reports, saying it has no plans to impose taxes on bank deposits or interests of savings certificates.
The ministry also made clear that no new taxes can be imposed unless after the approval of the parliament.
The center urged all media outlets to verify the authenticity of any news reports before publishing them to avoid disrupting public order.
No limiting powers of Endowment authority
The media center also denied rumors on limiting the powers of the Egyptian Endowment Authority with the enactment of a new law.
The Awqaf Ministry totally denied the news, the media center said a report on Thursday.
The new law aims at increasing the powers of the authority in managing and investing endowment funds and assets on sound economic basis.
The Cabinet dismissed as "groundless" reports purporting that mosques are being sanitized at the expense of citizens.
A statement issued by the Cabinet Media Center Thursday said, the Cabinet contacted the Awqaf Ministry which totally refuted the reports describing them as not true.
All mosque sanitation and sterilization operations are paid for by the ministry, it said.
The ministry called on all media outlets to adhere to accuracy in publishing any news and appealed to social media users to contact the ministry's official site (ar.awkafonline.com) to get correct information.
No reduction in financing health sector
The Cabinet dismissed reports purporting that the government plans to reduce amounts allocated for financing the health sector in the 2020-2021 budget, which has come into force as if July 1.
A statement issued by the Cabinet Media Center Thursday said, it contacted the Ministry of Finance in this regard, adding that the ministry refuted the circulating reports as "baseless".
On the contrary, the ministry said the state's 2020-2021 budget has witnessed a 47% increase in the health sector allocations to reach EGP 258.5 billion, compared to EGP 175.6 billion in the 2019-2020 healthcare budget allocations, to run in line with the government’s plans to back the health sector, especially at the current juncture due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which is imposing a significant burden on global health systems, read the report.
The Ministry of Finance appealed to media outlets and social media users to verify the authenticity of any news and contact official sources and the ministry website (www.mof.gov.eg) if they want to obtain correct information about any issue that concerns them.
No ban on agricultural products
The media center of the cabinet denied on Thursday reports that Egyptian agricultural products are banned abroad because they do not meet standard specifications.
The center said it contacted the Agriculture and Land Reclamation Ministry that dismissed as groundless such reports, saying 305 Egyptian agricultural products are available in the markets of 160 countries.
All agricultural products are first examined by bodies concerned before exporting them to make sure they meet needed specifications.
The ministry said agricultural exports reached 3.47 million tons during the first half of 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Potatoes, onion, grapes, garlic, mango, guava, cucumber, bell pepper and eggplant top Egypt's agricultural exports.
Egypt is the first country worldwide in exporting orange and frozen strawberry and the third globally in terms of dried onion exports.
The center urged all media outlets to verify the authenticity of any news reports before publishing them to avoid stirring public discontent.
The Cabinet denied claims about halting the issuance of citizens' bread subsidy points as of July 1, the first day of the entry into force of the new state budget for 2020/2021.
Bread subsidy remains intact
The Cabinet Media Center said in a statement issued Thursday, it contacted the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade over the matter and it dismissed such claims as "baseless".
"Bread rations of citizens under the bread subsidy system remain intact," read the statement.
Regular campaigns monitoring government-run bakeries are being carried out across the various governorates to guarantee that each and every citizen receives his full share of subsidized bread, said the ministry.
It called on media outlets and social media users to seek information from official sources, encouraging citizens to report any complaints or violations and not to hesitate to contact the government on its hotline # 16528 and the Consumer Protection Agency call center hotline 19588.
This report is compiled from MENA



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