Home | News    Tuesday 17 December 2013

Sudan’s draft 2014 budget to go before parliament for approval

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

December 16, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese cabinet has approved the 2014 budget presented by the newly appointed minister of finance Badr Al-Deen Mahmoud in a session chaired by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir on Monday.

JPEG - 20.2 kb
Sudan’s national assembly (FILE)

In press statements following the meeting, Mahmoud said that the budget aims to increase production and restore economic stability, as well as support agriculture, mining and industry in order to reduce deficit in the external balance of payments.

He stressed that the new budget does not include any new taxes or other price increases, stressing that 64% of the savings gained from lifting fuel subsidies would be allocated to raising wages and salaries, with another 22% directed to social subsidies, including support for poor families, healthcare, health insurance and students.

Last September, the Sudanese government launched a new austerity package which included lifting fuel subsidies which almost doubled prices of gasoline and diesel. The cabinet also raised the US dollar exchange rate to 5.7 Sudanese pounds (SDG) compared to the previous rate of 4.4

The minister further said that the budget focuses on development, with support to be directed to productive sectors, including agriculture, noting that the budget doesn’t exceed 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He added that the budget aims to expand the tax umbrella through improving the collection efficiency of the Sudan Taxation Chamber (STC), affirming that the ministry of finance would be the sole government body with control over public funds.

Previous budgets saw the phenomenon of government units retaining money that should otherwise be sent to the ministry of finance.

The controversial practice sparked national debate regarding the constitutionality of withholding public money by various government units, given that the ministry of finance is the only body which has the legal mandate to collect and disburse government funds.

Mahmoud said the budget also aims to reduce public expenditure through curbing spending on foreign trips, government buildings and imported furniture, as well as government demand for foreign exchange.

There are also moves to increase foreign exchange reserves, particularly after the recent increase in foreign exchange flow.

Mahmoud said the budget seeks to stabilise the exchange rate and increase financial resources, as well as achieving social justice through improving living standards, expanding public health insurance coverage, and directly supporting lower income sectors and students.

The finance minister said that the budget wants to achieve a 2.6% growth rate and 16.6% increase in money supply in order to reach 20.9% inflation rate.

He said that the budget would create a surplus for the first time in many years, attributing the increase in revenues to the expansion of the tax umbrella and transit fee revenues from the transfer of South Sudanese oil through Sudanese territory.

Mahmoud further emphasised his ministry’s commitment to include the increase in minimum wages in the budget, as well as paying wage arrears retrospectively from January, 2013, according to an agreement concluded with the Sudanese Workers Trade Unions Federation (SWTUF).

Meanwhile, the Sudanese parliament suspended its sessions on Monday and Tuesday after the council of ministers failed to send the 2014 budget proposal. Sessions later resumed on Wednesday.

The official news agency SUNA quoted the parliament press office as saying that the 2014 budget proposal was due to be delivered to the parliament by Monday.

Last week, a new parliamentary speaker and deputy speaker were appointed as part of a recent cabinet reshuffle carried out by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in its executive and legislative quota.

In a statement to parliament on Thursday, newly appointed speaker Al-Fatih Izz Al-Deen said that the next major priority of the legislative body is to draft a constitution based on national consensus and to amend the elections law, stressing that they look forward to having a constitution that emerges through national consensus.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Who was behind the killing of civilians in Bor? 2014-04-22 06:50:43 By Peter Gai Manyuon "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death", from unknown author. (...)

Embracing victimhood to celebrate victimisation 2014-04-22 06:28:12 By Juliana Bol April 21, 2014 - It was a bit disturbing to hear news of our citizens in the IDP camps (where they are seeking protection and shelter) celebrating the recapture of Bentiu -in (...)

South Sudan: Revenge Killings is not the basis for building a modern nation 2014-04-21 05:39:31 By Steve Paterno April 20, 2014 - The theme of this article develops as a result of my extensive research and writings on a culture of revenge killings among South Sudanese communities, (...)


MORE




VIDEOS



Latest Press Releases


Sudan: No justice for protest killings 2014-04-23 21:06:10 Human Rights WatchRelease Detainees and Punish Abusive Forces (Nairobi, April 21, 2014) – Sudanese authorities have failed to provide justice for scores of civilians killed in anti-government (...)

SDFG mourn the loss of a Sudanese activist 2014-04-20 09:02:39 The Sudan Democracy First Group mourns the loss of Osman Hummaida, a towering figure of the human rights movement in Sudan, and a tireless campaigner for democracy and peace in the country. Osman (...)

UNICEF supports emergency response for children in Sudan with 89 tons of life-saving supplies 2014-04-19 09:47:06 Khartoum, 18 April 2014 --- Today in Khartoum airport, UNICEF received 89 tons of life-saving supplies to support the humanitarian response to children affected by emergencies in various hot (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.