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S. Sudan finance ministry halts hard currrency allocation to Central Bank

October 14, 2015 (JUBA) - A senior at South Sudan’s Central Bank is dismayed over the manner in which the government was managing the country’s economy after the finance ministry allegedly took over the institution’s role on the directives of unnamed militants.

The newly issued US dollar notes (Source: FRB)

"There is no state in actual sense. The country is destroyed. The characteristics and the normal functions of the state have been destroyed. I have worked in the banking system for more than 33 years and I have never witnessed a situation in which a bank is starved of hard currency”, the official told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

The official, who has worked in several private and public financial institutions, also slammed the government for "deliberately allowing the economy to be destroyed by militants". He did not, however, elaborate further.

"The central bank has stopped receiving currency from the ministry of finance even though there is oil still flowing and brings in hard currency. The bank has been depleted. There are no reserves", said the official further accusing the finance ministry of allegedly taking over the Central Bank’s role.

"The ministry of finance has already stopped selling dollars to the central bank and goes directly to the black market to sell the dollar and then take only the local currency to the bank for storage purpose”, he added.

A high ranking ministry of finance official confirmed this in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune that the Central Bank has stopped receiving hard currency. The official attempted to justify the suspension of selling dollars to the Central Bank at official rate.

“The reason is that there is fiscal deficit of more than 200 million dollars a month and the government has been unable to secure loan to cover it. So it was decided that the only alternative is to sell whatever hard currency at the disposal of the government to cover this deficit”, said the official, who preferred not to be identified.

(ST)