(Bloomberg) -- Egypt, for the first time, set a minimum wage for private sector workers, moving forward to bringing those employees under the protection of regulations long afforded to their public sector counterparts.

The new wage was set at 2,400 Egyptian pounds ($135) per month, the Planning Ministry said, citing a decision by the National Council for Wages. The new minimum is on par with what was ordered by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in March for the public sector.

The push for a private sector minimum wage had largely stalled with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it had on the economy. At the same time, workers have long clamored for higher wages as they complained about the cost of living.

The ministry said that businesses affected by the new guidelines, which go into effect January 1, 2022, will have until October to submit complaints.

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