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Only Bread is Still Subsidized Now… And Barely So

The correspondent of Athr Press in Damascus and its countryside observed substantial crowds forming in front of certain bakeries.

The decision to increase the price of a bundle of bread for those not covered by subsidies has led to heightened congestion at the bakeries. Following the price hike, the bundle cost became equivalent to that charged by vendors near the bakeries and on the streets.

Regime Justifies Rise in Bread Prices Despite Mounting Criticism

The correspondent of Athr Press in Damascus and its countryside observed substantial crowds forming in front of certain bakeries immediately after the announcement of the price increase for the excluded bundle. Individuals now find themselves waiting in line for approximately two to four hours to obtain their bread allocations.

Abu Amjad, one of those excluded from the subsidy, expressed frustration at the necessity of waiting in line at the bakery due to the price increase. After the decision, the bread bundle’s price at vendors near the bakeries increased to 5,000 Syrian pounds. Abu Amjad, excluded from subsidies because he owns a car, emphasized that he bears the unsubsidized cost for all essentials, including fuel and bread. Consequently, his monthly salary is now only sufficient for purchasing bread.

Lamia, a university student, disclosed that she required 150,000 Syrian pounds to purchase bread, primarily because she couldn’t afford to spend hours waiting in line at the bakery. Her academic commitments forced her to buy bread from vendors or kiosks at an increased price.  

There is no subsidized commodity left but bread 

Abdul Razzaq Habza, the Secretary General of the Consumer Protection Association, clarified to Athr Press that, in general, there are no longer any subsidized items except for bread. However, he noted that the government might not explicitly announce this change. Habza highlighted that there is a minimal percentage of individuals excluded from subsidies due to data errors, facing hardships as a result.

Habza emphasized the need to evaluate the feasibility of this decision after a month or two, examining whether it proves beneficial or futile. He stressed the importance of thorough study before implementing any government decision. Regarding concerns about wheat shortages in Syria, Habza deemed them inaccurate, asserting that the supply is consistent. Instead, he attributed issues to a lack of organization.

To address this problem, he suggested the establishment of multiple sales outlets with regular conditions or the introduction of mobile units for material distribution. Habza pointed out that, despite approvals given to accredited entities, some fail to adhere to transportation instructions, resulting in the delivery of compromised goods to consumers, such as invalid pastry items.

 

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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