Sudan Postpones Lifting of Subsides

Khartum, MINA – Sudan’s Information Minister Faisal Saleh on Sunday (29/12) said the Sudanese transitional government would postpone the lifting of fuel subsidies, which were originally planned as part of the 2020 budget.

That was said only 24 hours after finance minister Ibrahim Elbadawi said on Friday (27/12) that fuel subsidies would be phased out, Anadolu Agency reported.

Earlier, Elbadawi said the transitional government plans to phase out fuel subsidies gradually by 2020. He also said public sector salaries would be raised as well as additional subsidies for health and education services, to reduce the impact of strong inflation.

The decision to postpone the removal of subsidies came after a meeting between the council of ministers and the ruling coalition of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) agreed not to implement the decision until a conference in March where economic reforms would be discussed.

According to them, the elimination of fuel subsidies is very sensitive because it will hit the population that has suffered for years due to the economic crisis and high inflation.

“In view of the decision of this conference the state’s economic policies will be determined, including policies on commodity subsidies,” Saleh said.

“We are very interested in considering the opinions of our people and this is why we postpone the abolition of subsidies to enable more discussion with our people regarding the budget,” he said.

The decision to revoke the subsidy itself has been postponed twice in the past few days.

Sudan’s transitional authority faces the daunting task of reversing the economy that was devastated for three decades under the rule of Bashir, which was toppled by the military in April after months of protests.

The complexity of Sudan’s recovery is a result of the country’s inclusion in the list of state sponsors of terrorism by the United States. The appointment has so far prevented Sudan from using the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for support. (T/Ast/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)