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On February 28th 2013, Bassem Ouda, the young engineer who had recently been appointed Minister of Supply and Internal Trade in Egypt announced that supplies of subsidised baladi bread would now be rationed according to a smart-card system. The cheap loaves that had retailed for 5 piasters (<$0.01) since 1989 are a staple in the Egyptian diet and there are no controls in place restricting the amount of baladi bread that any individual can buy.