Sudan to postpone lifting of fuel subsidies: Minister

Sudan to postpone lifting of fuel subsidies: Minister

Sudan’s transitional government is to postpone lifting fuel subsidies, initially planned as part of the 2020 budget, the information minister said.

The removal will not be implemented until a conference to discuss economic reforms in March, Faisal Saleh told Reuters.

The plan to lift subsidies is part of the new government’ attempt, with the help of donors, to launch a series of economic and political reforms after veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted in April.

Sudan has been in crisis since losing two-thirds of oil production with the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

Finance Minster Ibrahim Elbadawi had not said how the budget for next year would be funded or what the government forecast was for revenue and expenditure.

He had told reporters subsidies for petrol and gasoline would be gradually lifted next year while subsides for wheat and cooking gas would be kept in place to help the poor. Subsidies are a major burden for on government finances.

To alleviate the impact of inflation and poverty, the government wants to double civil service pay and raise the minimum wage to 1,000 Sudanese pounds ($22), up from 425 pounds, he said.

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