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Sudan government unable to manage economy says ex-finance minister

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December 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government is no longer able to manage the economy and lacks solutions to handle the crisis, a former finance minister said today.

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Fruit-seller in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum (Reuters)

Abdel-Rahim Hamdi who was the top finance official in the country during the 90’s criticized what he described as conflicting economic policies which he said led to soaring inflation levels and astronomical increases in prices.

Speaking at the Islamic Fiqh Council, Hamdi pointed out that 77% of revenues goes to cover salaries and wages as well as federal aid to states.

The former minister commented on the 2013 budget calling the projections included in it a "charity" underscoring that it requires a "major surgery" to provide sufficient revenues.

He called for discussions on the allocations made in the budget for defense and security as opposed to giving attention to other pressing items in other sectors.

"There needs to be spending to achieve public balance," Hamdi said and stressed that the dues to the poor population and other sectors should be given precedence over security spending.

The Sudanese government tabled its draft 2013 budget before parliament this week which projects 25.2 billion Sudanese pounds (SDG) in revenues and 35.0 billion SDG in expenses leaving a deficit of 10 billion SDG ($1.5 billion) which equals 3.4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The deficit will be financed up to 87% (7.6 billion SDG) from domestic sources including 2 billion SDG from the central bank.

The budget allocates 555 million SDG for health and education sectors, 8.6 billion SDG for security, 6.0 million SDG for agriculture and 1.5 billion SDG for what is known as "sovereign sectors" which includes presidency, council of ministers, foreign ministry, justice ministry, defense ministry and federal affairs ministry.

Hamdi said that the economic situation could be classified as "stagflation" as the state applies austerity measures demanding a reconsideration of the way the governments manages financial policies.

Sudan entered a phase of economic crisis last year as a result of the secession of the oil-rich South Sudan. The government is now trying to expand oil exploration efforts and boost gold exports to make up for the loss of the oil.

But officials in Khartoum insist that in order to balance the budget subsidies on food and fuel need to be completely lifted. Last summer the government partially lifted subsidies drawing rare but small protests.

The government also devalued the currency which came under intense pressure over the last year due to continuous shortages in dollars and inability of the central bank to provide the market with the needed hard currency.

The country is also subject to comprehensive U.S. financial and economic sanctions and is unable to borrow from international monetary institutions or rich western nations due to arrears and its hefty external debt. Oil-rich Arab Gulf nations have been reluctant to adequately assist Sudan despite Khartoum dispatching delegations over the last year.

(ST)

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  • 7 December 2012 06:17, by zulu

    You are right X minister. Things will turn sour next year as we head into the catastrophy. It will be bumpy because these folks lie a lot and there will be no wiggle room

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    • 7 December 2012 09:36, by South South

      Northern Sudanese,
      Iam laughing.

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    • 7 December 2012 11:03, by Robot

      There will be a time that you fake Arabs will swallow the bitter truth of your ailing economy instead of claiming and lying to yourselves that we have this and that.

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    • 31 August 2013 10:27, by edisonleon

      Notur?t esošos klientus, ir daudz l?t?k nek? ?emot lai atrastu jaunus klientus . Protams uzs?ka veiksm?gu biznesu , str?d?jot gr?ti veidot ciešas attiec?bas ar klientiem .
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  • 7 December 2012 11:32, by Observer

    How obscene!! Look at the small amount being budgeted for health and education compared to the amount for the military and for sovereign actors.
    To the President and govt It is fine for you. You can afford to send your children outside Sudan for a good education and wheh you need good health care you go outside Sudan,
    For the majority of Sudanese this is not possible- don;t you feel any shame??

    repondre message

    • 7 December 2012 12:18, by sudani ana

      I think the government should allocate even more funds for defence. Sudan is under vicious attacks from Israel, South Sudan and their stooges and Sudanese traitors such as SPLM/N and Darfur rebels whose aim is to destroy the country and break it up into small pieces. I would rather we eat one meal a day but be able to defend the unity of our beloved Sudan.

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      • 7 December 2012 13:17, by South South

        Sudani ana,
        Really you want to eat one meal a day !!! your thieves in Khartoum want to eat too much everyday while leaving others with empty stomaches. You guys are all theives who ruin up Sudan for 55 years, now it is your time to die thieves.

        repondre message

      • 7 December 2012 20:38, by Observer

        Sudani Ana
        You can’t be serious???
        Already almost half of our population live in hunger and poverty ( official figures not mine), we don’t have enough adequate healthcare or education and you want us to spend more on defence.
        A change in attitude by our government would cost nothing and gain a lot more.

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  • 7 December 2012 13:19, by kikokaka564

    I must admit that this government is quite incapable!
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  • 3 June 2013 02:32, by prestires

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  • 14 June 2013 13:59, by smithcurt

    Hi, dies ist ein sehr interessanter Artikel zu diesem Thema. Hoffentlich gibt es noch andere Meinungen dazu.
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  • 3 August 2013 17:16, by edisonleon

    Existing economic situation in a country is highly dependent on the decisions taken by the government and the people who have the authority therein. forex forecast

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