KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's ruling party will push forward a plan to scrap fuel subsidies to help overcome an economic crisis and plug a ballooning budget gap after the country lost much of its oil wealth to South Sudan, state media said on Thursday.
The move may be highly unpopular, but the African country is struggling financially after losing three quarters of its oil production when South Sudan became independent last July under a 2005 peace deal that ended a decades-long civil war.
Oil used to be the main source of Sudan's exports and state revenue as well as a major source of dollars.
Sudan has avoided an "Arab spring" uprising, but social pressures are increasing, with annual inflation hitting almost 29 percent in April.
Sudan has not said how much it spends on fuel subsidies, but the central bank said last year that fuel was being sold at $60 a barrel compared with market prices of more than $100.
The government has planned to lift subsidies before, but it is a sensitive issue and parliament rejected a central bank plan to scrap subsidies in December.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged Sudan this week to take emergency measures to overcome "daunting" challenges. Finance Minister Ali Mahmoud said in May that Sudan needed to plug a gap in public finances that came to $2.4 billion after the secession.
At a meeting chaired by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) decided to include "a proposal to lift subsidies on fuel in a package of economic measures" to help bridge the gap, state news agency SUNA said.
The proposal will be presented to lawmakers and the cabinet, it added. The NCP dominates Sudan's parliament and key ministries. Continued...
Related news items:
Newer news items:
- After War, Economic Crisis Hits South Sudan - Inter Press Service - 01/06/2012
- Sudan, S. Sudan to resume talks - China Daily - 01/06/2012
- UN Security Council concerned by lack of aid access in Sudan - Chicago Tribune - 01/06/2012
- Intisar Sharif Abdalla, Sudanese Woman, Sentenced To Stoning In Sudan - Huffington Post - 31/05/2012
- Sudan, S. Sudan discuss border issues - UPI.com - 31/05/2012
Older news items:
- Petronas 1st-Quarter Net Up 72.6%; Sudan Dispute Hurting Output - Fox Business - 31/05/2012
- Sudan pound again under pressure after devaluation - Ahram Online - 31/05/2012
- South Sudan minister's plane forced to land after complications - Sudan Tribune - 31/05/2012
- Indian Peacekeepers Treat 15000 Animals in South Sudan - Daijiworld.com - 31/05/2012
- Former Lost Boy Gives Back to South Sudan - Care2.com (blog) - 31/05/2012
Popular news items:
- No oil in troubled waters - 25/03/2014 - Read 19896 times
- School exam results in South Sudan show decline - Bikya Masr - 01/04/2012 - Read 17387 times
- Former Lost Boy Gives Back to South Sudan - Care2.com (blog) - 31/05/2012 - Read 15619 times
- NDSU student from South Sudan receives scholarship - In-Forum - 29/09/2012 - Read 14841 times
- With prisons full, South Sudan to introduce mobile courts to clear backlog of ... - Washington Post - 11/10/2012 - Read 12324 times