LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – Sudan’s cabinet has said that it will cut its governments spending and increase social spending, after completing a raft of rapid economic reforms this month that threaten to compound pressures on the majority of the population.
In the last few months, the country has devalued its currency and began a policy of a flexible managed float and just this month fully removed subsidies on car petrol and diesel.
Furthermore, just last week, Sudan eliminated its custom exchange rate, used to calculate import duties, as the final step in a devaluation of its local currency.
According to a Reuters report, Sudan will cut costs of external official trips by 50 percent, reduce fuel quotas for government vehicles by 20 percent, sell all surplus government vehicles and cut embassies’ budgets by 25 percent among other measures, the cabinet said on Saturday after three days of closed meetings.
The government will expand the registration of a family support project called Thamarat or Fruits to include three million families or about 15 million people within two months.
Through the program financed by the World Bank and other donors, Sudan is paying out monthly cash allowances to these families to ease economic pain.
Part of the new measures will include increasing the budget of another program that was meant to provide cheap food commodities from two billion Sudanese pounds ($4.51 million) to 10 billion pounds ($22.54 million).
Additionally, from July 1, the government will pay a monthly grant of 10 billion pounds to all state workers, not subject to taxes. Most of the grant will be allocated to the lowest grades of workers.
Sudan is emerging from decades of economic sanctions and isolation under ousted former President Omar al-Bashir.