Economy First, Then Politics
In a step described as first of its king for the government of Sudan to take bald decisions regarding economic reform after the country affected by the secession of south Sudan on January 9, 2011, which culminated in estimated loss of 80 per cent of oil revenues. Seemingly lacking vision for settling the oil file between Khartoum and Juba has further aggravated the crisis.
Search for solutions
In face of challenges, the Ministry of Finance set up plans to rescue the country from rocketing prices as well the budget deficit and exchange rate. Proposals including cut in government spending, restructuring of state, lifting subsidy on fuels, measures thought to bring the economy back to where it was, according the Minister of Finance.
However, economists attribute the economic crisis to wrong unfortunate economic policies. The ministry of finance has to control amounts of money being seized by some ministries, said Dr. Babikir Mohamed Tom, for head of economic committee at the Parliament. While, the government sees that reducing constitutional posts, their salaries and privileges will supply a great deal of amounts in favor of the citizens with limited income via direct support. The Minister of Finance Ali Mahmoud sees that the government spending as one of major causes of the deficit.
On their part, the citizens are following these new measures some of them are optimistic about the measures while some see that the whole affair rests with speedy implementation.
Abdel Majid Abdel Hamid, the Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic Daily Al Ahram Al Youm, said in his column last week that any delay in implementation of the restructuring might increase current deficit with new figures.
The public street say that the government has to cancel the posts of commissioners and resort to executive managers as a solution to the crisis while staying localities to avert security problems in the event the localities are dissolved or merged, Tejani Abakar Mustafa, a resident, said.
The sole sectors that are likely to be able to bear these measures are owners of capitals who benefitted from the decision to lift subsidy on fuels because any increase in fuel prices will undoubtedly turn in their favor.
In his speech before the Parliament, the President of the Republic said that lifting the subsidy was made in favor of the citizens to support basic goods.
Since economics said to be the science of alternatives, there should be focus on agricultural – animal and plant farming as well as gold and other minerals to help the country get out of this crisis, said the Minister of Finance Ail Mahmoud, in a statement before the Parliament.
The Minister said revenues coming from lifting of subsidies would be used for supporting agricultural production besides exempting basic goods such as sugar, wheat and cooking oil from customs and Value Added Tax (VAT).
The recently taken steps to counter the present situation will bring the economy back to normal and yield great amounts to bridge the estimated SDG3.6billions in deficit; in addition incomes that will come from the reduction of constitutional posts and their privileges. The citizens have greeted the new measures with skepticism and cautions as they are looking forward to stable economic conditions, balanced politics and a system of government free of compensations.
By Mohamed Abdallah, 22/06/2012