Sudan to cut public spending and increase social spending
KHARTOUM, June 26 (Reuters) – Sudan will cut public spending and increase social spending, the cabinet said on Saturday, after completing a series of rapid economic reforms this month that threaten to further pressure on the majority of population.
Earlier this month, Sudan completely removed subsidies on gasoline and diesel from cars, and in February it devalued its currency and began a flexible managed float policy.
Last week, it removed its customs exchange rate, used to calculate import duties, as the final step in a devaluation of its local currency.
The country will cut costs for external official travel by 50%, cut fuel quotas for government vehicles by 20%, sell all surplus government vehicles and cut embassy budgets by 25%, among other measures, the government said on Saturday. cabinet after three days of closure. meetings.
The government will expand the registration of a family support project called Thamarat or Fruits to three million families or about 15 million people within two months, he added.
Through the program funded by the World Bank and other donors, Sudan provides monthly cash allowances to these families to alleviate economic hardship.
The new measures include increasing the budget for another program intended to provide inexpensive food from two billion Sudanese pounds ($ 4.51 million) to 10 billion pounds ($ 22.54 million).
The government will pay a monthly subsidy of £ 10 billion to all state workers, not subject to tax, from July 1. Most of the subsidy will be allocated to the lowest categories of workers.
He also promised to review the salary structure and apply a new improved one from fiscal year 2022.
Sudan is emerging from decades of economic sanctions and isolation under ousted former President Omar al-Bashir.
It had accumulated huge arrears on its debt, but made rapid progress towards canceling much of it under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program of the IMF and the World Bank. , which would reopen access to much-needed cheap international finance.
The IMF said on Tuesday it had secured sufficient financing pledges to allow it to provide comprehensive debt relief to Sudan, clearing a final hurdle towards broader external debt relief of at least $ 50 billion.
($ 1 = 443.6642 Sudanese pounds)
Report by Khalid Abdelaziz; Written by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Chris Reese
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