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Al Bashir: ‘Sudan won’t back down from LPG price rise’

January 31 - 2016 KHARTOUM / RABAK
(file photo)
(file photo)

The government will not abandon its decision to increase the national price for cooking gas, President Omar Al Bashir announced this week. The town of Rabak, south of Khartoum in White Nile state, is witnessing an acute flour crisis.

The decision, adopted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, is based on the state policy of the liberalisation of goods, Al Bashir said in a statement to the Sudan News Agency (Suna), and in the event that the government runs out of oil and gas.

He was quoted as saying that other decisions in support of the vulnerable segments in Sudan’s economy will be announced during the coming period, through effective measures and other procedures.

The threefold increase – from SDG25 to SDG75 ($12.20) – for a cylinder of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), announced by the Sudanese government on Monday, has sparked widespread condemnation in the country. Before the increase, the price for a cylinder of LPG ranged from SDG20 to SDG35 throughout Sudan.

As a possible knock-on result, bread prices are expected to increase, according to the Bakeries’ Union.

“This increase reflects the deep economic crisis the country is living in,” economist Dr Siddig Kabello told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday. Independent members of the federal parliament are preparing to summon the Ministers of Oil and Gas and Finance over the price increase in cooking gas.

No flour in Rabak

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a resident of Rabak south of Khartoum in White Nile state complained of an acute flour shortage in the town.

“Almost all the bakeries closed on Friday because of the scarcity of flour. No one can afford to buy flour on the black market anymore as the prices are soaring,” he said.

He added that the price of a cylinder if LPG is sold for more than SDG75 in the countryside.

Meanwhile, Activists are using social media to call on the people of Sudan to resist the price increases.

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