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Finance Minister: 'Sudan’s 2019 budget faces challenges’

December 20 - 2018 OMDURMAN
Sudan Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Motaz Mousa (file photo)
Sudan Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Motaz Mousa (file photo)

Sudan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Motaz Mousa, has acknowledged the existence of challenges facing the country’s budget for the year 2019, including stabilising the exchange rate of the national currency, reducing inflation, reducing and rationalising public expenditure, solving the liquidity problem.

Musa was addressing the session of Sudan’s National Assembly, under the chairmanship of the Speaker Ibrahim Omar, in which the national budget for the year 2019 and the accompanying laws were presented.

“The economy cannot be sound in the presence of brokers and intermediaries”, he said, referring to the need to utilise officers and administrators of popular committees and proposing the distribution of basic commodities to citizens directly in the public fields of the localities without intermediaries.

He pointed out the need “to control the subsidies of goods and goods distribution, rather than lifting them”, noting that subsidies that do not reach the poor need to be reconsidered.

He pointed out that there can be no progress in the stability of the currency in the presence of practices at the expense of producers. He called for the enactment of laws that criminalise manipulating people’s livelihoods.

Taxes on tobacco, cigarettes

The minister stressed that the draft budget is free of any tax increases, except for increased taxes on tobacco and cigarettes.

He said that the estimates of public revenues for the year 2019 amount to about SDG 163 billion; an increase of 39 per cent from last year’s estimates. He said that the tax estimates amount to SDG 47 billion, an increase of 29 per cent over 2018.

He predicted that the budget deficit will fall to 3.3 per cent of GDP by the end of 2019 compared to 3.7 per cent at the end of 2018 and that the size of borrowing from the Central Bank will be within 15 per cent of the total national revenues.

GDP growth

Mousa said GDP growth will reach 5.1 per cent by the end of 2019 to increase the contribution of production in the agricultural sector, which is expected to rise to 28 per cent.

He also predicted that the growth rate will positively affect the increase in exports and increase by 30 per cent by the end of 2019 by about 27 per cent compared to 63 per cent by the end of 2018.

Mousa stressed that the budget for the next year will be accompanied by objectives of economic stability, reform of people’s livelihood, rule of law and reform of the civil service.

The minister added that the imbalances in the structure of the macro-economy are due to weak production and shortfall of output, which requires treatment and the creation of a budget for policies, programmes to reform the production and productivity sector in the agricultural sectors, livestock, minerals, oil and water, energy sector and scientific research.

He pointed out that the year 2018 ends with a growth in GDP up to 5.7 per cent and a total budget deficit of 5.2 per cent of GDP.

Mousa said that Sudan’s share of oil is 9.5 million barrels for the year, increased by 33 per cent of the total production, while the production of South Sudan oil and partners about 67 million barrels. The tariff transfer through pipelines to Port Sudan between $12 to $26 a barrel.

As effective foreign exchange rates can vary widely in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the Market Makers Mechanism-determined daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

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