The Egyptian government is investigating the possibility of a feasible transition to a limited, new cash payment system that would replace the ration cards on which tens of millions of the country’s neediest residents currently rely for basic human needs, according to Bloomberg.
Government officials are actively in conversation with a “number of entities” about the potential for such a new arrangement, the Egyptian cabinet said in a statement while declining to identify others involved in the discussion. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will receive an official report after the research is complete, the cabinet continued without mentioning any specific time frame for delivery of the findings.
A potential shift to a cash payments system underscores Egypt’s larger effort to reduce wasteful government expenditures and, through more efficient distribution of such commodities as rice, cooking oil, and sugar, modernize its current ration card system that sustains almost three-quarters of the country’s population.
Authorities want to ensure the critical support continues to easily reach and assist Egypt’s nearly 100 million neediest residents, nearly half of whom live at poverty level. This transitional push is part of a larger 2016 initiative hoping to recover from the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that removed former President Hosni Mubarak.
In additional governmental reform news, Egypt is also developing a mandate for electronic tax invoicing, an initiative reports confirmed will eventually broaden to standardize all process involving invoicing in any government procurement.
Mohamed Maait, Egypt’s finance minister, is capitalizing on the smartphone saturation throughout his country to implement eInvoice standards for tax purposes. Speaking at the Ahram Economic Conference last December, Maait said Egypt’s tax system currently processes approximately 9 million tax invoices.