I have my fair share of gripes with Egypt; the dire lack of functional infrastructure, the way Alexandria’s water tastes funny, and the almost complete lack of consistency when it comes to pricing. You, no doubt, have come across an item that goes for EGP 23 one day only to see it hiked up to EGP 25 the next, to the incredulous tune of “aywa 3’elyet embare7.”

So in a dandy effort to try and purge corruption and market abuse, Egypt’s Supply Ministry has officially put in effect its new price-printing policy; the decree makes it so that all grocers are required to list official prices of each and every one of their products either on the packaging or on store shelves, forcing them to peddle their wares within a price range set by the manufacturer as well as printing original prices on receipts. This not only provides the necessary transparency the average Egyptian shopper, and tourist to Egypt, needs when conducting their (horrific) grocery routine, but also helps to curb price gouging and abusing the already volatile financial state of both citizens and the economy.

This new decree has been met with generally positive opinions, with numerous vendors and store owners the country over complying with the directive, saying that it’s fair to the consumer and more efficient for them in terms of having to clarify “el beta3 dah bekam??” On the other hand, many other vendors have been reluctant to come to terms with the decree, claiming that they’ll need a bit more time to fully implement, food manufacturers have also joined in on the outrage wagon (or wahmbulance), saying it would add to their costs and disrupt production with the addition of an extra step.

A statement by Minister Ali El Moselhy had clearly stated that shop owners will have a “grace period” right until the first of February, or else face legal trouble.

Photo courtesy of HabibiElquseir.