During last July's Interministerial Council, which was chaired by Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune on this problem, a number of questions were raised.
The same official explained that "the question is defining and measuring the export of products containing subsidized inputs, out of pasta, and establishing a framework for the export of those products."
He stressed the need to "determine if the subsidy covers the budgetary expenditure (subsidy of the selling price of raw materials) or the tax exemption of certain products."
The "idea of exporting those products with refunds ust also be clarified," he said.
Back to 2009, he explained that questions were raised about exporting products made from subsidized materials for consumers in Algeria and not abroad.
"This situation has since been adjusted by requiring exporters to buy these raw materials themselves from abroad and not in Algeria from the Algerian Inter-Professional Cereals Office (OAIC) and to place them under the Customs' inward-processing arrangements by ensuring traceability so that the exported products are related to the quantities imported, following a ratio determined by the Ministry of Commerce."
The official said that the "Customs has properly executed the mechanism to make sure that export products are not subsidized."
However, in 2016 and in a bid to promote exports, the Government decided to allow the export of pasta, with refunds. The Government created an Interministerial Committee to define the mechanism for returning the subsidy," the customs official explained.
In its conclusions to the ad hoc inter-ministerial council, the Committee said that the inputs which are used to a large extent in pasta are hard wheat, and that the products exported, according to statistics, are pasta and couscous.
Moreover, the Inter-sectoral Commission, chaired by the Minister of Finance, has been tasked to extend the examination of this problem to other exported products, which inputs are subsidized, in addition to pasta.
According to Customs figures, the number of exporting operators of pasta is twenty.
Exports of pasta were amounted to $ 4.32 million in 2016 (6.8 tonnes), compared with $ 5.7 million (9.6 tonnes).