Red Line: Assad Government to Increase Price of Bread for Seventh Time?

The decision to raise the bundle's price is a response to the financial losses incurred by the state, al-Souria Net writes.

As loyalist media outlets have indicated, Assad’s Ministry of Internal Trade is reportedly planning to increase the price of a bread bundle in the coming days. According to a source within the ministry speaking to the pro-government website Athr Press on Monday, the new price for the subsidized bread bundle will be disclosed soon.

The source explained that the decision to raise the bundle’s price is a response to the financial losses incurred by the state treasury due to continued subsidies for the material. Although the source did not specify the exact new bundle price, the pro-regime Hashtag Syria website confirmed on Sunday that it is expected to reach 450 Syrian pounds per bundle.

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Sources within the Ministry of Commerce, quoted by the website, indicated that the decision has been approved and is awaiting the right time for announcement after preparations for public reception. Additionally, the website reported that bread distribution appraisers in Damascus were informed by the bakery administration of an impending increase from 200 to 450 Syrian pounds per bundle in the next few days.

In a report from the 24th of January, al-Baath newspaper hinted at an imminent rise in bread prices at the beginning of the following month. The newspaper expressed concern over the impact of such price hikes, emphasizing that it would place additional burdens on the already strained finances of citizens.

Muayad al-Rifai, the director-general of the Syrian Bakeries Establishment, suggested the possibility of raising the bundle price by addressing the high subsidy bill. Rifai stated to the semi-official newspaper Al-Watan that Syrian bakeries’ daily flour allocations amount to 5,400 tons, producing approximately 5.653 million bundles (equivalent to about 39.6 million loaves of bread). He noted that the subsidy bill for bread is escalating daily, reaching annual amounts in the thousands of billions of Syrian pounds.

Currently, the subsidized bread bundle is sold to eligible citizens at 200 Syrian pounds, while those not benefiting from the subsidy are required to purchase it at 3,000 Syrian pounds. If implemented, this will mark the seventh occasion since 2011 that Assad’s government has raised the price of a bread bundle, starting at 15 Syrian pounds.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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