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Sudanese government’s plan to lift fuel subsidies meets rare resistance by lawmakers

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December 12, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese national assembly on Monday refused to approve a plan put forward by the government to remove fuel subsidies as part of the 2012 budget.

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Sudan’s Finance Minister Ali Mahmoud (Reuters)

The finance minister Ali Mahmood Abdel-Rasool told the parliament that Sudan may no longer be able to supply fuel if subsidies continue adding that this item is using 25% of the budget.

But lawmakers rejected the warning and urged the finance minister to look for alternatives other than lifting fuel subsidies.

They called for further cutting salaries of government officials and assigning only one vehicle for each.

“I am with you in [having] one car for the minister and reducing constitutional [officials] salaries because we are in a bind and we need to economize,” Abdel-Rasool said.

The head of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) bloc in parliament Ghazi Salah al-Deen also expressed opposition to Abdel-Rasool’s plan saying that it is not convincing and suggested that corruption is one issue that need to be addressed urgently.

But the former finance minister Al-Zubeir Ahmed al-Hassan defended Abdel-Rasool saying that a successful economist is one who does not bend in the face of storms.

“We need to clearly tell citizens that this oil is not yours” al-Hassan said and claimed that the government imports it for $117 per barrel and sells it for $49.

Last January the government partially lifted subsidies on petroleum products in anticipation of South Sudan’s imminent secession which became official last July. The south produced the vast majority of the country’s oil before the breakup.

The central bank governor Mohamed Khair al-Zubeir in an interview with Reuters last October said that fuel subsidies “are big burden for the state”.

"So far we didn’t notice the difference, subsidies were no problem because the country had oil ... [but] we cannot pay this anymore," he said.

Ordinary Sudanese have been hit hard by years of conflict, high inflation, U.S. trade sanctions, corruption and high unemployment.

Annual inflation hit 19.1 percent in November, up from 15 percent in June. The Sudanese pound has fallen on the black market since July due to a lack of dollars as oil revenues dried up.

(ST)

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  • 13 December 2011 12:41, by Daniel Buolmawei

    You will collapse both financially and politically. Terrible indeed. Well, it is a disaster you brought upon ypurselves. This is always the result of supporting genocidal regimes. Unless quit rallying behind radical Islamists, you will continue suffered economically and isolated politically.

    repondre message

  • 13 December 2011 17:16, by J P Puok

    only fool can’t see this storm coming but the citizen of Sudan had the tools in their hands ie that they have got no choice but uprising,uprising,uprising, yes it may mean sacrifying lives and properties but liberty worth them all. it is an advise take it or leave it you are free to choose !

    repondre message

  • 13 December 2011 20:37, by $ 10,000,000

    That Sudan will never be peaceful unless it is divided into many countries such Blue Nile Republic, Nuba Mountain Republic, Darfur Republic. Abyei is South Sudan already. They are fit to countries just like Togo in west Africa. Those people should claim to the world that they are being oppressed and need their autonomous governments.

    repondre message

  • 13 December 2011 20:37, by $ 10,000,000

    That Sudan will never be peaceful unless it is divided into many countries such Blue Nile Republic, Nuba Mountain Republic, Darfur Republic. Abyei is South Sudan already. They are fit to countries just like Togo in west Africa. Those people should claim to the world that they are being oppressed and need their autonomous governments.

    repondre message

  • 13 December 2011 20:38, by $ 10,000,000

    That Sudan will never be peaceful unless it is divided into many countries such Blue Nile Republic, Nuba Mountain Republic, Darfur Republic. Abyei is South Sudan already. They are fit to countries just like Togo in west Africa. Those people should claim to the world that they are being oppressed and need their autonomous governments.

    repondre message

    • 14 December 2011 05:22, by sober

      Try to use your mind once a live. Nations does not collapse merely of subsidize lifting. It collapse when on tribe retains all nation recourses and a new dependent country become a merely a kingdom.

      repondre message

      • 14 December 2011 05:32, by sober

        It collapses when 50 people killed per day in the capital and DINKA police stand inaction or accomplice with killers. It collapses when a reverent president daughter engaged to alien.

        repondre message

        • 14 December 2011 05:46, by sober

          It collapses when reverent governors to brass embezzle millions of dollars of international coffers and kept people die with hunger. It collapses when some deprive others his gun and kept his own gun to kill him and rape his wife.

          repondre message

  • 14 December 2011 05:41, by sober

    It collapses when reverent governors of top brass embezzle millions of dollars of international coffers and kept people die with hunger. It collapses when some deprive others his gun and kept his own gun to kill him and rape his wife.

    repondre message

  • 14 December 2011 07:27, by Madina Tonj

    Ali Mahmood.

    Not yet, just this is the beginning of economic collapse sign. You guys have been protecting indictment for years but Sudan nation is going to break up pieces untill Khartoum domination will remain isolate from the rest of Sudanese African. Maybe good Idea for Sudanese Arabs to go back Saudi Arabia and be part of them othewise, your policies become disater and will not work any more

    repondre message

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