Egyptian trade minister defends making companies pay

May 19: Egypt has taken surprise steps to help its nationals on low incomes cope with higher prices. It has funded food subsidies and a thirty per cent increase in salaries for civil servants by reducing fuel subsidies and removing tax benefits for some companies, triggering a 14 per cent drop on the stock market. In this interview the Egyptian trade minister, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, tells Heba Saleh why the government has acted.