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Opposition: ‘Sudan’s govt response to economic crisis a failure’

November 15 - 2018 KHARTOUM

Opposition economic commentators in Sudan are lamenting the failure of the policies pursued by the government in dealing with the current economic crisis.

Siddig El Sadig, the chairman of the economic committee of the major opposition National Umma Party, described the events in the country as “full-fledged crime”, pointing to the focus on spending on the military, security, and administrative sectors and neglecting of the service sector.

He attributed the recent liquidity crisis and the seizure of funds in banks to printing of the currency outside Sudan instead of printing it in the Sudanese printing houses.

El Sadig warned of the dire consequences of the government’s mixed fiscal policies, which he said, combine free market and open state intervention through economic security.

He confirmed the availability of all factors of the overall economic collapse in the country, but attributed the non-occurrence of this to the natural resources of the country.

He pointed to a complete collapse in development and services, especially in the health and education sectors, according to government reports.

‘Production sectors neglected’

El Sadig said that the most prominent features of the current period are political and economic empowerment and corruption.

He criticised the government for neglecting the production sectors and relying on oil and gold revenues.

He cited the loss of at least 163 billion Dollars of oil revenues and investments during the period from 2000 to 2015 in corruption and unscrupulous spending, buildings and towers in government institutions and unwarranted imports without taking into account the cessation of the South.

El Sadig pointed out that the annual deficit in foreign currency amounts to 7 billion, criticising the payment of the deficit in ways harmful to the economy through the sale of land and mortgage, the purchase of foreign currency in the parallel market and extravagance in printing currency.

He highlighted that the internal deficit has amounted to SDG 83 billion during this year, in addition to increasing domestic debt from the banking sector and that the country has not benefited from the $ 54 billion foreign debt relief initiative because of government policies.

‘Political imbalance’

Dr Khalid El Tijani, the editor-in-chief of Elaf newspaper attributed the economic crisis in the country to the political imbalance, saying that the regime has failed to excel in blowing up the country’s economic potential and resources.

He explained in his speech during an economic forum that the current government has caused a defect in the structure of the state through the adoption of projects such as the reformulation of Sudanese society, empowerment and directing the resources of the country and society to maintain power without linking them to a national project.

He said the Government has hijacked and directed the policy of economic liberalisation in favour of the accumulation of wealth in certain parties.

He criticised the government for not linking the policy of economic liberalisation to the provision of political freedoms.

He played down the achievements in the field of roads, infrastructure and dams, pointing out to the lack of comparison with the opportunities available.

He ridiculed the manipulation of government agencies of poverty rates through the amendment of standards, pointing to the government’s lack of seriousness of in combating poverty.

He described the budget for 2018 as catastrophic in which the spending on education and health has not exceeded five per cent.

He said the talk about subsidising goods was a lie, explaining that the government has not done so.

He pointed to the skyrocketing rates of inflation.


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