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Sudan President’s currency directives ‘futile propaganda without reform': Economist

November 1 - 2017 CAIRO
Currency traders in Khartoum (File photo)
Currency traders in Khartoum (File photo)

Economists have described President Omar Al Bashir’s directives to the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Sudan to control the exchange rates and reduce inflation rates yesterday as “futile propaganda, with the main objective to notify people that the president is concerned about their livelihood which is not true”.

The directives from Al Bashir came after the US Dollar was trading at more SDG 22 on the Khartoum parallel market.

Professor Hamid Eltigani, the head of the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo, told Radio Dabanga that all the measures directed by the state will not correct the economic situation unless such actions dictate a real reform of the political issue in the country.

Prof Eltigani said that “this should start with the removal of Al Bashir from power and the political scene. The Sudanese can then reformulate the economic reality and start dealing with those financial institutions that refrain from dealing with it because of the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of Al Bashir”.

He also pointed to the reluctance of investors to enter the country because of the ICC indictment and called on the Sudanese to pressure to remove Omar Al Bashir from the political scene in the country.

Professor Entigani stressed that the problem of economic collapse in the country is that the regime has depleted the resources of the country and disrupted industry and agricultural and livestock production that are generating foreign currency to Sudan.

‘Inflation levels difficult to measure’

He explained that the regime has created, at the same time, a complex political situation that hindered the entry of foreign investment and adopted reliance on levies and printing paper currency by the security services until inflation has reached levels that are difficult to measure.

He stressed that this situation requires a major institutional reform starting from the President of the Republic to the last person in the current political structure of Sudan.

He stressed that remaining of the political situation in its current form with the continuation of wars will not allow the recovery of the economic condition.

He said “It would have been appropriate to follow internal measures to remove the restrictions on agricultural production, stop the multiple levies and the security services from printing paper currency, restrict it to the Central Bank, control government spending, especially on the security services through the Ministry of Finance and control the spending of the presidency of the Republic and its affiliates”.

Government acknowledgement

Sudan’s First-Vice President and Prime-Minister, Bakri Hasan Saleh, the has acknowledged that the economic challenge is the real challenge for Sudan and stressed that increasing production is the real way out of the crisis.

Yesterday in a press conference held at the Cabinet, Saleh renewed the government’s commitment and seriousness in combating corruption in all its forms and manifestations.

He also called on the government to recognise the magnitude of the economic challenge; which requires increasing production, harnessing and employing the resources properly.

Saleh said that the decline of the Dollar comes through policies and mobilisation of funds rather than through law which he pointed out that it will be applied on the Dollar dealers after economic stability.

President Omar Al Bashir said that Sudan has lost more than 500 billion Dollars as a result of the American sanctions imposed on the country.

On Tuesday, Al Bashir said in his address to the opening session of the Arab Parliament at the Friendship Hall that these losses have affected the Sudanese citizen in his life.

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