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Sudan eyes fresh package of austerity measures: Bashir

August 22, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir unveiled on Tuesday the existence of an ongoing review of state and federal institutions’ structures as part of a new austerity drive that would see more cuts to diplomatic missions abroad.

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President Omer al-Bashir speaks in a rally held in Zalingei on 3 April 2016 (ST Photo)

In a speech to the Sudanese people on the occasion of Eid al-Adha religious holiday, Bashir underscored that in the coming period a concerted effort will be undertaken to come up with detailed macroeconomic policies aimed at stimulating production and reducing the trade deficit.

The Sudanese economy has continued its downward spiral that came at the heels of the controversial FY2018 budget adopted by the parliament. The value of the pound came down crashing against foreign currencies coupled with record increases in inflation rates.

Bashir went on to say that enforcement of financial discipline at government bodies is underway through tighter controls of their respective accounts implemented by the Bank of Sudan.

This week the central bank issued a decree instructing government agencies to shut down any commercial bank accounts denominated in foreign currency they may have and hand it to the Bank of Sudan.

The Sudanese leader also affirmed that the presidency will have the final say in determining funding priorities for developmental projects to ensure the optimal utilization of available resources.

He added that diplomatic missions abroad will experience cuts and would be evaluated on the basis of their strategic importance and their ability to serve the country’s economic development efforts without draining the public finances.

Bashir also vowed to employ presidential diplomacy in order to explore new venues of economic cooperation with heavyweight countries as well as opening up new markets for Sudanese products through strategic partnerships.

He stated that the challenges facing the country are directly impacting the economic situation.

(ST)