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Economist: Plunging Sudanese Pound leading to economic collapse

February 25 - 2020 LONDON / KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

A leading economic analyst has called for a programme to stabilise commodity prices and the US Dollar exchange rate in Sudan, warning of economic collapse and loss of public confidence in the transitional government.

Former banker and civil society activist Hafiz Ismail, who is a leading member of the Sudanese panel of experts, says in a new interview with Radio Dabanga, that “the current economic crisis is attributable to the lack of vision and the absence of an economic plan to manage the crisis”.

Ismail warns of economic collapse in the country due to the rapid deterioration in value of the Sudanese Pound “around the clock”. He expressed concern that the economic failure would “neutralise the public towards the government and increase the growing rejectionist trend”.

The analyst told Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese economy suffers from two distortions, namely commodity subsidy and multiple [Central Bank of Sudan, customs, and unofficial] exchange rates, and calls “for the development of policies to mitigate harm to the most affected groups through social security networks in preparation for the lifting of subsidies”.

Hafiz Ismail (Photo supplied)

 

Ismail expressed concern that social security in Sudan is being obstructed by what he described “a corruption machine”, and stressed the need to start fighting corruption, while identifying clear mechanisms to implement the programme.

He calls for a unified currency exchange rate to curb the accelerating deterioration of the Pound. He called on the government to accelerate the changes of bank managements and the departments of Ministry of Finance at all levels, in addition to comprehensive tax reform to prevent tax evasion.

The former banker also stressed the need “to focus on investment in agriculture as a sustainable resource”, and “the need for the state to dominate the gold sector as a public resource, legalise prospecting, and allocate 50 per cent of production to the state with an appropriate proportion to be allocated to exploration areas”.

As reported by Radio Dabanga on February 9, Sudan’s Anti-Corruption Committee has dissolved the administrative board of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) and 11 other banks and dismissed nine bank managers with alleged links to the deposed Al Bashir regime. The decision also dissolves nine administrative boards of directors of corporations, and removal of a number of directors of other institutions.

Sudan’s Anti-Corruption Committee (The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee) has issued a decision to form sub-committees in all states to be chaired by the governor of each state.


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