December 30, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Upper House, the Council of States (CoS) on Monday has called on the government to downsize its ministries on the federal and states levels.
The MPs directed fierce criticism at the report submitted by the Revenues Allocation and Monitoring Commission (RAMC) and described it as “incomplete”, saying that large parts of the country do not have access to clean water.
Several MPs pointed that the rebel Sudan people’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) fully seized 3 localities in South Kordofan state besides partially seizing 11 other localities, saying that 80% of the civil war is raging in South Kordofan.
The speaker of the CoS, Um Billi Al-Agab, however pointed to the increase in Sudan’s exports particularly Gum Arabic and cotton, adding that 300 million SDG has been allocated for the Gezira agricultural Scheme.
MP Hamid Hassan criticized the lack of accountability across the board and stressed the failure of the government’s economic slogans, saying that Sudan is currently fully dependent on the outside world for food and clothing.
MP Salah al-Ghali said that increasing production requires a review of Sudan’s foreign policy and asserted that armed rebellion has negatively impacted Gum Arabic production, criticizing lack of funding for farmers.
MP Badawi Al-Khair said that the RAMC report revealed lack of coordination between the Ministry of Commerce and the concerned parties, adding that economic performance in the previous period was not satisfactory.
The minister of Commerce, Osman Omer al-Sharif, for his part, asked MPs not to cry over spilled milk, saying that they have discovered the illness and would offer treatment.
He emphasized that the governor of the Central Bank pledged to make the necessary funding available for producers, saying that Gum Arabic started to be freed from the monopoly of some European companies.
MP Gabrallah said that corruption is rampant, wondering why the RAMC hasn’t taken any measures against people behind it.
He urged the government to take specific measures against units which retain money that should otherwise be sent to the federal Ministry of Finance.
The controversial practice has 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.
MP Al-Sir Youssef underscored that federal government is funded by the states’ tax money.
MP Awad Hag Ali said that RAMC’s report is incomplete and affirmed that allocation of 1% for university transfer is illegal, pointing that school pupils sit on the floor in the era of computers.
The head of RAMC said that federal government gets the larger portion of the budget revenues because it finances states.