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FFC slams lifting fuel subsidies as violation of economic conference decisions

October 28 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The ruling coalition in Sudan described the government’s decision to lift fuel subsidies and sell it at market rate as a "flagrant violation" of the decisions of the First National Economic Conference organized by the government last month.

This week the government raised the price at the pump of locally produced diesel to 46 Sudanese pounds ($0.8364) a litre from the previous 23 pounds. It also increased the price of petrol to 56 pounds from 28 pounds.

A member of the economic committee of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) Tijani Hussein, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that the decision on fuel was taken in the midst of a major disinformation campaign about economic benefits of normalization with Israel.

Hussein said that the government doubled fuel prices in the name of fuel liberalization and commercializing service by announcing a weekly review of its prices.

He described the move as a "the first flagrant violation of the decisions of the Economic Conference, and a preemptive step for the work of joint committees between the Economic Committee and the executive body, which has been studying the 2020 budget over the month."

"If there is an actual economic benefit from normalization with the Zionist entity, the result should not be to resort to lifting the subsidies and doubling the fuel prices after the fuel subsidies were actually lifted by raising the price of a gallon of gasoline from 28 pounds to 128 in the first trimester of the current year which reflects the lie about the economic benefits of normalization".

The FFC figure noted that normalization with Israel coincided with the implementation of the IMF’s directives to lift subsidies on bread and fuel, which reflects that the two things are nothing but obedience to external dictation and the application of the neoliberal approach to the economy.

He went on to say that the "neoliberal" concept is a capitalist ideological approach imposed by the U.S. and its counterparts on developing nations and constitutes an alliance of parasitic domestic capitalism with global capitalism to serve the interests of both parties at the expense of the poor people without offering them anything but poverty, unemployment and hardship.

"It is not surprising to see that the supporters of lifting subsidies on fuel and commodities are the same supporters of normalization with the Zionist entity, allied with the IMF agents who came from abroad and took control of the economic helm and threw the FFC and its committee of economic experts and the decisions of the National Economic Conference into the trash."

He stressed that the committees formed from the Economic Committee and the executive body have been studying for a whole month the amended 2020 budget and revealed the falsehood of the figures contained therein and reached practical solutions to bridge the budget deficit without raising the subsidy or lowering the exchange rate of the Sudanese pound.

"It was about to announce the results of its work within days, but this preemptive act reflects that the issue is not a budget deficit, but rather the implementation of the neoliberal ideology led by global capitalism and implemented by the International Monetary Fund and its agents in developing countries," he said.

He pointed out that doubling fuel prices in the first trimester led to an increase in the transportation cost per person per day from 30 pounds to between 300-600 pounds.

He anticipated that the new increases in fuel to be reflected by raising the cost of transportation again per person per day to between 700 to 1,000 pounds, wondering how workers in the public and private sectors could reach their workplaces.

This he said will lead to increases in commodity prices again.

Hussein called for correcting the course and restoring their revolution "for which they sacrificed precious blood".

He stressed the need to extract the economic file from the agents of the International Monetary Fund and hand it over to the FFC Economic Committee to implement a policy that differs from that failed policy that brought the national economy to an abyss.