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Commodity prices continue to climb in Sudan

January 3 - 2018 SUDAN
Market stall in Khartoum (File photo)
Market stall in Khartoum (File photo)

The prices of basic commodities have continued to rise daily in Khartoum and across Sudan. There is anger and frustration after the approval of the 2018 budget and the rise in the customs price of the US Dollar to SDG 18.

On Monday and Tuesday, Aroma in Kassala state witnessed a total lack of bread because of the shortage of flour. A resident from Aroma told Radio Dabanga that since Monday all the city's 30 bakeries have been closed because of not receiving their flour quotas.

He explained that on Monday the authorities distributed only one sack of flour to each bakery. Residents have resorted to alternatives because of lack of bread.

The prices of food and consumer goods have risen in Kutum on North Darfur during the recent period.

Residents of Dongola in the Northern State have complained of soaring of prices and crisis in fuel, cooking gas and flour.

El Fateh Najmeldin explained that the authorities have prevented merchants from selling 50 kg sacks of wheat without first obtaining the approval of economic security.

Currency shortage

Businessman and MP, Ali Abersi, announced the existence of a crisis facing the private sector in obtaining foreign currency for imports following the recent policies announced by the governemt, most notably preventing the dealing in foreign currency in the black market as the private sector depends on the parallel market to obtain foreign currency.

He said that the official US Dollar price increase to SDG 18 affects the rise in prices and imports for the private sector in the market.

He said that the Ministry of Commerce’s preventing the private sector from importing some goods has a significant impact on revenues, as well as preventing the practice of the internal trade of the parallel currency market.

He said that these policies so far have not shown their results and are so far unsuccessful amid the Dollar’s rise which will significantly have impact on prices and imports.

Parts of the capital Khartoum and the rest of the states have witnessed a fuel crisis reflected on the prices of goods and services and agricultural projects of Kutum in North Darfur and other parts of the state have witnessed acute fuel crisis.

A resident told Radio Dabanga from Kutum that the nearby vegetable farms have severely been affected by the lack of fuel.

He explained that farmers are forced to stand for hours in front of fuel stations.

Dongola

Dongola in the Northern State has been experiencing a severe fuel and cooking gas crisis for a week.

El Fateh Najmeldin explained to Radio Dabanga from Dongola the long lines in front of fuel stations.

He said that the queues continue for long hours to get the required quantities of fuel.

He said there has also been remarkable scarcity of cooking gas.

State Minister of Finance, Abdelrahman Dirar, denied the increase in fuel prices in the 2018 budget

Yesterday he said in a press conference that the price of the customs Dollar which was approved in the current budget corresponds to the state exchange rate of SDG 18 does not affect negatively on the level of prices.

He announced the exemption of 63 percent of Sudan's imports of customs duties.

The Director of the Bank of Sudan announced coordination with the Ministry of Finance to stabilise the exchange rate and repair its distortions.

He called for more flexibility in the exchange rate to reduce those distortions

Increase in electricity tariffs

Minister of Electricity and Water Resources Mutaz Mousa defended the increase in electricity tariffs for some sectors, attributed it to the rise of foreign exchange rate, inflation and operational factors.

On Tuesday he appeared before the Parliament to answer a question about tariff increases for some sectors saying the electricity sector has been affected by the exchange rate, inflation and operational factors".

He added that the increase in tariffs led to a decline in subsidies paid annually by the state from SDG 9.9 billion to SDG 4.4 billion.

The minister acknowledged the mistakes that accompanied the implementation of the tariff increase decision.

According to him, the amendments to the tariff provides for keeping the residential sector supported by 967 percent to 88 percent without adjustment in the tariff categories until the monthly consumption of 1500 kWh. This corresponds to monthly consumption at the level of one metre up to SDG2,300 per month.

Finance Minister Mohamed Osman El Rikabi announced the cancellation of the customs duties imposed on the production inputs in the budget approved by the Parliament and the cancellation of the development tax and the additional fees, this in addition, the exemption of local sugar from production fees with a number of basic foodstuffs including Egyptian beans, rice and bread yeast.

Yesterday he stressed in a press release that the budget aimed at achieving reform and economic stability by increasing production, stabilising prices and improving the level of people's livelihood, besides reducing inflation to 19.5 per cent, reducing the money supply from 45 per cent to 18 per cent and reducing the trade balance deficit to SDG 2.2 billion and reaching a positive growth rate of four per cent.


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