PM in Sinai: State exerted arduous efforts to uproot terrorism, attain development

The State, with all its affiliated bodies, has exerted arduous efforts to uproot terrorism in Sinai and at the same time establish development projects, affirmed Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly.

Speaking at a press conference during an inspection tour in North Sinai governorate on Saturday, Madbouly said the security situation in the governorate is stable, after tremendous efforts exerted by the State.

He also referred to the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces, the police and the civilians to fight terrorism and restore stability to the region.

The premier also pointed out to the development process in North Sinai, which was launched by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The current situation in Sinai is something to be proud of, he boasted, noting that during his visit he saw the hallmarks of the abominable terrorist attacks which hit governmental buildings and security checkpoints.

Talking about the New Rafah City, the premier said that with its completion, more than 10,000 housing units will be established along with 400 Bedouin houses, which will be equipped with the latest utility services.

He also said that he inspected the first phase of the project, which comprises 4,500 units.

As many as 1,400 residential units have already been finalized, he said, adding that efforts are under way to finalize the first phase.

In Sheikh Zuweid, Mabdouly said that he inspected the power transformers station, which serves the Sheikh Zuweid residents.

He further said that he inspected several projects in El Arish, including Arish University, which has 11 faculties and gathers 7,300 students from North Sinai.

Madbouly said that North Sinai has five universities: government, non-profit, technology and private universities.

This reflects the big attention paid by the government to education, the premier said during the press conference, adding that he is also concerned with developing capabilities of Egyptian citizens living on the peninsula.

Madbouly told reporters that he visited the Court of First Instance in North Sinai to get firsthand information about renovation work before it is re-opened a few days later.

He spoke highly of “precious sacrifices” by Egyptian families in North Sinai.

Madbouly said that he also inspected a number of mega development projects in Sinai, including the Arish Port, which – following directives by President Sisi – had been upgraded extending over an area of 540 feddans up from just 50.

The premier said he also stopped at the Arish General Hospital to see how development work is progressing and if high-quality services are being provided.

The prime minister also visited some housing ventures. He told reporters that he particularly inspected the cooperative housing project, which – thanks to state efforts – had been upgraded after big negligence.

Madbouly said he also visited the main power plant in North Sinai, which generates 350 megawatts of electricity in the governorate. Work is under way to upgrade its capacity to 700 megawatts, he noted.

The prime minister told reporters he also inspected the desalination station, whose capacity is 300,000 cubic meters per day. Once the station is completed it would serve some one million citizens, he made it clear.

The first phase of the project is already accomplished, Madbouly said, noting that its capacity stands at100,000 cubic meters per day enough for North Sinai and could also serve future projects and development plans in the governorate

Madbouly said that he inspected also the “wholesale market”, which was built by the State in North Sinai governorate.

The State has implemented most of the development projects, which were planned to be established with the aim of attaining tangible development, he said.

During the press conference, Madbouly lauded the decision issued by President Sisi to implement development projects in North Sinai while carrying out operations to uproot terrorism and fight terrorist activities that this precious part of the homeland was badly suffering from.

From the very beginning President Sisi had insisted that the development process in the governorate should not be interrupted by the war launched by the State against terrorism, he said, lauding his wise decision.

This decision has greatly contributed to saving time and money for the State, he added.

Directing his speech to the Egyptian nation about the economic conditions, Madbouly said that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), with the full support of the government, started over the past days in adopting crucial steps to adjust the monetary policy and regulate the foreign exchange market.

Such step was necessary, as it is futile to set up investments while there is a parallel foreign exchange market, he added.

The CBE started taking all the necessary measures to eliminate the parallel market within the upcoming period, he made it clear.

As of December, the State was keen on releasing all the raw materials, goods and production supplies stuck at the ports in order to move the development wheel forward, he added.

Stuck goods worth dlrs 8.5 billion were released from Egyptian ports from December 1 to January 10, he noted.

Also, Egypt released about dlrs 645 million worth of goods stuck in the ports during January 11 and 12, he went on to say.

All the released goods will be pumped into the market in order to return the operation of factories at full capacity and maintain a balance in products’ prices in the local market and thus control price hikes, he added.

The State will implement a new initiative to support the agriculture and industrial sectors, with a total cost worth EGP 150 billion annually, he also said.

He referred to President Sisi’s directives to support the local farmers during the upcoming phase and encourage them to supply biggest amounts of wheat during the upcoming harvest season.

The Cabinet will offer an additional incentive, worth more than EGP 1,000, to supply wheat, which will be added to the price of ardeb, as of the coming season, he further said.

The State will continue to subsidize the basic commodities, he affirmed, adding that the government is bearing the difference of the actual cost of the bread sold to consumers under the subsidy system, which is estimated at about EGP 10 billion.

The litre of diesel actually cost the State EGP 11 pounds and it is sold at EGP 7.25 per litre for consumers, he said, shedding light on the huge sums of money which the country is paying to subsidize fuels.

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