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South Sudan unveils plan to remove fuel subsidy

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July 12, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan has announced plans to remove a fuel subsidy; sparking fear such move could increase prices of basic commodities in an economic crisis caused by the unabated conflict.

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People queue at a fuel station in South Sudan’s capital, Juba on 18 October 2014 (ST)

Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said removing fuel subsidy would allow the government to use what it would save from the cut to paying salaries of the civil servants on time.

“We need to seriously consider reducing or eliminating the fuel price subsidy managed by Nilepet – this is the single most viable option for increasing resources for Government spending in 2017-18.

If we eliminate the fuel price subsidy, we will be in a position to pay salaries on time, something we have struggled to do this year,” said Minister Dau.

The Africa’s youngest nation is also experiencing a severe fuel shortage, with consumers queuing for hours outside fuel stations and often paying way over the new price for black-market products.

The minister told reporters on Wednesday that it was time to take painful decision to salvage the situation instead of burying heads in the sand hoping for miracles to fall from the sky.

“There can never be miracles to the current situation. It requires political will and the decision of the leadership to stand behind current reforms. We share the pains of the current situation with our citizens but the inherited difficulties of the past and the challenges of current times imply that we must take difficult decisions on these sorts of critical national issues. We cannot just sit down and watch the citizens wail haplessly. That is the best way to handle the situation. Something has to be done to alleviate this suffering,” he appealed.

Observers say the cost of fuel will rise from 22 South Sudanese pound per litre if the subsidy is removed after the budget is approved by parliament after it has been approved by the council of ministers.

(ST)

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  • 12 July 2017 22:06, by Eastern

    This is long overdue; vultures in NilePet and National Security Service were making a kill out of the unsustainable subsidy. SPLA is always late though.....

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    • 13 July 2017 09:16, by Real Observer

      Eastern

      Is the so called NilePet a National parastatal or group of individuals working in the gov’t? Ideal plan of leading a Country in South Sudan normal comes after disaster typical of leading by default. It is indeed too late. And I hope the parliament won’t delay the process of removing the subsidy.

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  • 12 July 2017 22:22, by john locke

    Theynhave no idea what they are doing. A country ran by hung ry morons.

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  • 13 July 2017 04:30, by Newsudan

    the issue of ghost names should be addressed to cut huge spending of money on security

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  • 13 July 2017 09:25, by Manyngoo

    First they say "if we let the currency float in the market economy will improve" $1= SSP 3 to $1 = SSP 18 now it is SSP 130, then "if we join east Africa we will be economically strong" we have never seen that at all. Now "we have to remove the fuel subsidy to pay salary" Mmmmmmmmm.... are you struggling for survival as government or you are developing a nation? learning the hard way is.........

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