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Sudan says facing obstacles in cutting government spending


September 23, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese minister of finance and national economy, Ali Mahmoud, complained on Sunday that the government is facing a number of obstacles in slashing its spending as planned under austerity measures aiming to salvage the country’s contracting economy.

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FILE - Sudanese Finance Minister Ali Mahmud al-Rasul (GETTY)

Sudan previously announced it has decided to cut government spending as part of what officials describe as a tripartite economic program involving tough austerity measures designed to contain the fallout from the country’s loss of three quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan in July last year.

The government said it would downsize its bureaucracy through a reduction in the number of constitutional post holders in both federal and regional governments from 572 to 318. It also announced elimination of five ministries, mergers between others, sacking of six presidential advisers and unspecified reductions in official perks.

Addressing a parliamentary session devoted to discussing the tripartite economic program that the government devised to respond to the situation, Ali Mahmoud said that regional governments were not responding to demands by the federal government for cutting their spending. He added that regional governments are demanding that funds allocated for development be diverted to finance salaries of officials.

Mamoud went on to suggest that cutting the spending of regional government “requires intervention” from the federal government but he fell short of describing the nature of such intervention.

The minister also appeared disturbed by what he described as the breakdown in the tripartite program, warning that it would not produce the desired results if its implementation is not monitored by the competent authorities.

Many regional governments in Sudan were reported to have dissolved themselves in order to re-organize their structures in compliance with the federal government’s directives for decreased spending. But it was also reported in June this year that the government of South Darfur State in western Sudan rejected orders to restructure without giving any reasons.

The minister’s public complaints offer a glimpse into the difficulties that the country’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is facing in weaning off its patrons who control regional governments from generous and continued funds from the federal government.

Attempts to cut funding of regional governments already sparked dramatic events when the governor of Al-Qadarif State in eastern Sudan, Karam Allah Abbas, was forced to resign in June following a public dispute with the finance minister over the failure of the federal government to buy cars to service Al-Qadarif government.


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  • 24 September 2012 14:46, by zulu

    How can you downsize the government when there are so many factions you need to award with government jobs? you are making peace with rebels from everywhere of the country with a promise to share jobs and resources equitably, but then expect to cut jobs. which positions are you curtailing, theirs or yours when you need to monopolize the government?

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  • 24 September 2012 15:01, by forza

    Ali Mahmoud ,I don’t know why every time I see your face I know you are brining bad new!! I don’t know if you are qualified enough to be a minister of finance.how come a regional government doesn’t respond to federal government ?? Ncp or whoever doesn’t comply with austerity measures should be kicked out immediately.we can’t apply the law on some regions and let others living at large. Kick out th

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    • 24 September 2012 15:07, by forza

      kick out all useless officials who don’t comply with austerity measure..they should submit their resignation today and go do some other business.

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    • 24 September 2012 15:11, by zulu

      why is he bad news? do you like somebody like beshir who ies to you without telling the truth?
      where is gold and sugar mega factories to boost ur economy?

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      • 24 September 2012 16:25, by forza

        don’t worry about our economy, gold had already improved our economy by 2.6 billion. the refinery was opened only last week and definitely you will see improvement in 2013. i have bad news for you, oil also will improve our economy next year.check this link http://www.stockhouse.com/news/canadianreleasesdetail.aspx?n=8621631

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        • 24 September 2012 18:14, by panchol

          please come and take refuge to South Sudan if you are wise.
          Junubin are not fighting with Arabs but the regime in Khartoum.
          when you come to Juba or other state capitals, you find great change in term of development. so far, we start from zero, but in 2017 South Sudan economic will improve in term of development.

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          • 24 September 2012 22:59, by forza

            No my friend, I don’t take refuge ,why should I? I have been to juba recently and I didn’t see the development you are talking about!! Water is salty, check point at each intersection after 10pm,very poor roads specially the one to YEI.you drive to Lanya and get your spine damaged bouncing all the road.still many things are undeveloped

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            • 25 September 2012 07:08, by Observer

              How did you travel to Juba?

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              • 25 September 2012 09:44, by forza

                airlines before it’s been stopped. i have been there 3 times since last year till now. 2 times from khartoum and one time from cairo. are you asking for evidence ?

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                • 25 September 2012 13:11, by Observer

                  So your visiting Juba recently is actually almost 6 months ago... just reduces your credibility that is all when you make sweeping general statements like you did.

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    • 24 September 2012 16:01, by 4Justice

      "Ali Mahmoud ,I don’t know why every time I see your face I know you are bringing bad new!!" I almost fell off my chair laughing, does he look like a ghost to you or what??

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      • 24 September 2012 17:58, by panchol

        Muhammad ali.
        I don’t know why Sudan still having financial issues while you everyday tell us that your economic had improved by far compared to South Sudan economic.
        That means you are liers you guys.

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      • 24 September 2012 23:05, by forza

        Not a ghost ,just he is an individual in wrong place..Iam sure you have many of them..

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  • 24 September 2012 15:02, by Mapuor

    the country’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is facing in weaning off its patrons who control regional governments from generous and continued funds from the federal government.Haaa,all sinecures must be sacked,perks abolished,agricultural sector boosted,realtions with South Sudan improved to accomodated thousands of traders,labourers from the South welcomed to Sudan

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  • 25 September 2012 02:22, by Observer

    Of course there is going to be difficulties.
    Why would the greedy government officials willingly give up their salaries being paid in $US, their first class air travel, their 2 cars ( one for Madam), their children being educated in other countries, and all the other perks that NCP patronage has bought them.
    It would be terrible that they had to suffer like us ordinary citizens wouldn;t it??

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