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The government has spent over 2.4 billion birr to subsidize the price of edible oil, wheat and sugar in the last eight months as part of its effort to control price hike, State Minister of Trade Ali Siraj said.
The government imported eight million quintals of wheat in two phases and distributed over 1.8 million for selected 110 flour factories. As a result, bakeries were able to secure adequate wheat flour. Over 294,000 quintals of wheat grain has also been distributed to 42 towns across the country through 271 Consumers Cooperatives Associations.
More than 3.2 million quintals of sugar was distributed through 27 branches of Merchandise Wholesale and Import Trade Enterprise purchased from domestic and foreign markets. Industries which use sugar as a major ingredient have also been allowed to purchase from the Sugar Development Agency. The government further imported 70,000 tones of oil with 3-25 liter containers.
“There is adequate wheat, oil and sugar in stock and the current shortage and price hike is an artificial one. Lack of accountability and transparency were some of the loopholes in the distribution effort on the side of traders while loose monitoring and supervision were identified as weaknesses on the government’s side,” the State Minister of Trade said.
(The Ethiopian Herald)