Giza bakeries decry arbitrary fines

Giza bakery owners are threatening to halt production of subsidized bread to protest the imposition of fines that have averaged LE70,000 within the last five months.

The owners of about 200 of the 250 bakeries in Giza Governorate sent a list of their demands to Minister of Social Solidarity Ali Moselhy, saying that commodities inspectors impose arbitrary fines on bakeries during inspection visits. The bakers said inspectors assign fines for poor quality materials, but then change the charge to weight violations, driving the fine hire and decreasing the bakers’ share of flour allocations.

Bakery owners said that officials at the supply department admitted to problems and promised to correct them, yet nonetheless imposed fines that are three times higher than they should be. The bakers demanded a comparison between the fines included in bakeries’ records and those registered at the supply department, in order to verify the breaches.

Some owners were skeptical of the chamber of commerce’s ability to protect their rights. "We started to feel as if we are working in a low profession, and that we are treated as thieves, which negatively affected our children and families who watch the derogatory treatment we suffer by the inspectors," said the memo sent to the minister.

Sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that bakery owners had erred in sending the memo to the minister of social solidarity because the fines are collected by Giza Governorate. Sources expected the memo to be referred to the governor.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Solidarity opened the door for corn imports yesterday.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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