The Sudanese government has imposed further increases on the prices of sugar and gasoline. The move was described by some observers as bringing new suffering for the Sudanese, especially in regions on the peripheries, such as Darfur, where the cost of transporting goods is already high. The new price of a gallon of benzene is 8.5 pounds and gasoline is 6.5 while cooking gas increased to 13.
Price increases on these commodities results from removing government subsidies on them. The parliament on Wednesday cut one-third of subsidies on petroleum products and announced that the subsidies would gradually be cut to 0.At the same time, the government imposed a 20 pound cost for a sack of domestic sugar. Economists interpreted the increases as part of budget off-setting for the nearly 70% oil revenue losses that the North is expecting after secession of the South. Abdel Rahim Hamdi, an economic expert, said that the the new increases reflects “the price of separation” of the country’s south.
Dr. Ismail Hussein, leader of the opposition in the parliament, said he had appealed to the Finance Minister against the price increases. He suggested alternative budgetary solutions including disbanding the army and dismissing highly-paid presidential advisors.
In Darfur itself, citizens described the increases as another disaster for them, saying they had already been suffering from high cost of living. A citizen of Nyala mentioned that the increase will raise the cost of commercial transportation between Omdurman and Darfur, and within Darfur, as well as airline tickets. He pointed out that the increased price of fuel in Nyala immediately affected the prices of other goods, which are expected to rise correspondingly with fuel due to the cost of transportation, including prices of tomatoes, millet and all consumer goods.
Photo: The National Parliament.