January 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Ministry of Finance, Economy and Consumer Affairs in Khartoum state has announced on Tuesday the formation of a joint mechanism among bakeries union along with cooking gas, transportation and petroleum distribution agents.
- A worker fills a pickup truck’s tank with blended fuel at the first blended fuel station at Kenana Sugar Company (KSC)’s main plant, 270 km (170 miles) south of Khartoum May 14, 2013. (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The mechanism will be chaired by the ministry’s head of the economic sector Adel Abdel-Aziz.
The state’s minister of finance, Adel Mohamed Osman, discussed in a meeting today with the bakeries union, the general administration of public transportation and petroleum, cooking gas distribution agents, and the business owners and employers federation the stock and supply of petroleum products, baking flour and cooking gas.
The meeting assured residents of Khartoum state that problems which caused shortage in bread, cooking gas, and fuel were completely resolved, calling upon them to only obtain their real needs of bread, fuel, and cooking gas and not to resort to storing those commodities at home.
It stressed that there is no supply problem, demanding support for cooperatives unions in localities in order to ensure flow of consumption goods to bakeries.
Osman affirmed success of the mechanism in resolving the recent crisis, asserting that flour mills are currently working at its full production capacity in order to provide bakeries with wheat flour.
Several Sudanese states including the capital Khartoum witnessed sharp shortages in bread and cooking gas this month as large numbers of people queued in front of bakeries and gas cylinders distribution shops.
Bakery owners said that they are getting 50% less flour quotas assigned to them.
Sharp differences occurred last year between Khartoum state government and bakeries union which is part of the union of the industrial chambers on bread price following the recent economic measures.
The bakeries union proposed selling 3 loafs of bread instead of 4 loafs at one pound or reducing bread weight which is determined by the state at 70 grams. However, the government rejected the proposal and maintained the price and weight of bread.
Sudan currently imports more than 2 million tons of wheat annually at a cost of $900 million.
Last September the government announced the second batch of subsidies cut but kept its support to prices of the bread.
The reduction of subsidies on basic commodities is part of an austerity plan introduced in July 2012 to reduce the government spending by $1.23 billion.
The measures led to countrywide demonstrations in which rights groups say that over 200 Sudanese were killed.