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Economist: ‘Sudan govt economic programme threatens democracy’

August 27 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Economist Sidgi Kaballo (SUNA)
Economist Sidgi Kaballo (SUNA)

The Sudan government’s current economic programme threatens the future of democracy in the country, according to economist Sidgi Kaballo. He announced that Sudan will hold a National Economic Conference in late September.

Kaballo attributes the recent leap in forex rates on the parallel market in Khartoum to the government’s announcement of its intention to raise the official exchange rate. Last Thursday, the Sudanese Pound reached 170 against the US Dollar.

In a press conference by the Communist Party of Sudan at the premises of the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) yesterday, Kaballo called on the government to adhere to the economic programme of the Forces for Freedom and Change, saying that “the current policies have led to an increase in the exchange rate of the Dollar, soaring inflation, and the exacerbation of the economic crisis”.

The economist further announced that a National Economic Conference will be held at the end of September. Preparations for the workshops have started.

He said: “Islamic parasites are still dominating the economy,” and emphasised the need for “a national body to manage economic institutions”, a stop to the import of non-essential goods in order to reduce the demand for hard currency, and the adoption of a new progressive tax policy.

He asserts that the import of fuel can be reduced by rationalising the state’s fuel consumption by reforming railways and river transport, introducing solar energy and other alternative energies.

Furthermore, Kaballo calls for the banking system is to be urgently reformed. The Islamic banking system that “failed to finance the production process” has to be replaced by the traditional banking system.

The economist also referred to statements by Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Chairman of the Sovereign Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), and head of the Anti-Corruption Committee*, Lt Gen Yasir El Ata, concerning companies owned by the military on Sunday, and denied their claims that “military companies of the Charitable Society are owned by the Sudan Armed Forces”.

He called for jurisdiction over companies owned by the regular forces.

According to Kaballo, the 2020 national budget collapsed because the military did not fulfil their agreement with the Ministry of Finance to provide $2 billion to the country’s treasury.

* The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was established by the new government in the end of last year, with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.

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