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‘Sudan’s 2017 budget will lead to continued crisis’: Economist

December 25 - 2016 KHARTOUM

The budget for the year 2017, which was submitted to the Sudanese Parliament on Wednesday, will lead to continued economic crisis in the country, a prominent economist has predicted.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Dr Hassan Bashir, Professor of Economics at El Nilein University, said the 2017 budget which the Finance Minister submitted “will adversely affect production and investment climate and lead to continued economic crisis”.

On Wednesday evening, Sudan’s Finance Minister, Badreldin Mahmoud, submitted the budget for the year 2017 with a deficit of SDG 1.6 billion ($246 million) and reliance on taxes by 74 per cent. The total funds allocated to the Ministry of Defence are SDG 14 billion ($2.16 billion), SDG 3 billion ($500 million) for Rapid Support Forces, SDG 4.3 billion ($675 million) for the National Intelligence and Security Service, and SDG 6.28 billion ($9.6 billion) for the Ministry of the Interior.

Weak spending

Dr Bashir lamented that the budget relies on taxes and fees for 74 per cent. He said the budget is overly focused on defence, security, and general management of the state, with weak spending on economic development, social services, and infrastructure.

He pointed to the negative impact of the budget deficit which has reached SDG 1.6 billion, and warned of serious consequences of the ongoing war and the lack of access of consensus on the general budget.

He said that “the general budget will face a great dilemma if the forces participating in the national dialogue are accommodated in the legislative and executive organs which will increase the burden on the state budget”.

He pointed to the “weak economic feasibility of accommodating the forces that have participated in the national dialogue within the state apparatus and the weakness of its impact on the political situation”.

'Sudan's trouble is more political than economic'

Dr Bashir also confirmed that it will not lead to security, political stability, normalisation of relations with the international community, abolition of American sanctions or relieving Sudan's debts.

“Sudan's trouble is more political than economic,” he said.

Dr Bashir warned for “the dire consequences of the high inflation rates, the low exchange rate of the Sudanese Pound and the inability to obtain real resources”, and called for the need to stimulate the economic activity and recapitalise the general budget. 

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