Govt scraps restrictions on mandatory sale announcements

The Ministry of Trade has decided to lift restrictions imposed on traders regarding mandatory sale announcements. It has also authorized the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) to monitor these sales.

Minister of Trade Rachid Mohamed Rachid said the move aims to create a more competitive environment that will lead to equitable consumer prices. He added that the original framework for this practice is obsolete.

Under Law 100/1957, traders were required to gain the approval of the internal trade sector before announcing their discount season, the length of which could not exceed 15 days–renewable upon request.

Assistant Minister of Trade Hesham Ragab said the trade sector is finding it difficult to process the hundreds of discount requests it receives on a daily basis.

Analysts say the Egyptian government is trying to impose price stability at a time when prices are experiencing an unprecedented hike in a country where half the population lives around or below the poverty line.

Most candidates in the parliamentary poll are promising better economic conditions and a higher minimum wage if they get elected. The timing of the annulment, therefore, carries significance.

The Egyptian government may be seeking to placate a discontented population by scrapping the old law in the lead-up to the parliamentary poll scheduled for 28 November, according to analysts.

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