By Ajnadin Moustafa.
Tripoli, 25 March 2015:
Bakery owners in Zliten have been told they are not allowedto sell bread to markets and . . .[restrict]shops and must to sell it directly to customers at the bakeries. The order is part of a new set of regulations for bakeries issued by the municipal council.
Other regulations include a ban on subsidised ingredients – notably flour – provided by the government may not be re-sold, and can only be used by the bakeries to produce the bread they make and sell.
Additionally, a roll of bread weighing 100 grams may not be sold for more than 75 dirhams, while the price of a baguette weighing 200 grams may not exceed 150 dirhams, the council stated.
Bakeries must be in possession of a valid license and be in compliance with the standards set forth by the Ministry of Health, the municipal council has said, and those who wish to continue operating legally must apply in writing to the muncipality’s Office of Economic Affairs and include a notarised pledge to abide by the regulations.
Zliten has been facing a bread supply crisis for months because of a shortage in flour resulting from purchasing problems. Supplies have been reduced to bakeries, according to some reports, by up to 50%. The exodus of 60 Egyptian bakers last month following the slaughter of 20 Egyptian Copts in Sirte by the Islamic State (IS) only exacerbated the crisis.
There have also been widespread allegations of bakers selling state-subsidised flour on the black market for use in animal feed. As a result, the authorities have threatened to revoke the license of any bakery caught re-selling government-issued flour
The government’s ability to enforce such a policy is, however, limited. Closing bakeries only would only make the problem worse.
Despite the shortages, there has been no move to ration bread.