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Sudan announces measures to fill budget gaps

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Aug 17, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — The Ministry of Finance and National Economy has adopted a package of financial measures to fill a budget deficit amounting to 543 billion Sudanese dinars.

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Al-Zubair Ahmed al-Hassan

The deficit resulted due to delay in the entry of Adariel oil field production which was adopted in the budget for this year, with a production of 200,000 barrels per day.

The federal minister of Finances, Zubair Ahmed Hassan, announced Thursday that these measures include lifting subsidies on petroleum products by 50%, where the price of benzene was increased from 550 dinars to 650 dinars a gallon and gasoline from 350 dinars to 450 dinars a gallon.

The minister pointed that the returns to public treasury from the movement of the selling price of crude to the local refineries from 34 dollars a barrel to 49 dollars are estimated at 9 billion dinars monthly.

The measures maintained the prices of furnace, jet and gas so as not to affect the prices of electricity and the state would shoulder an additional subsidy to power amounting to some 923 million dinars monthly to meet the increase in the cost of power production, besides the current subsidy which amounts to 2.1 billion dinars monthly.

Zubair affirmed that the measures were necessitated by the additional commitments resulting from the implementation of the agricultural campaign programme, Darfur peace, humanitarian work, east peace talks and implementation of Merawi Dam project.

The minister also disclosed additional measures, including reduction of spending, speeding up privatization of a number of government’s assets and reactivation of performance of revenues.

(ST)

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