Arab Today, arab today new sudan budget rules out price hikes
Last Updated : GMT 18:13:01
Arab Today, arab today
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New Sudan budget rules out price hikes

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today New Sudan budget rules out price hikes

Khartoum - AFP

Sudan's new cabinet on Monday approved a budget ruling out price increases, after the slashing of fuel subsidies in September led to the worst urban unrest of President Omar al-Bashir's regime. "This budget will not include increases in taxation, nor will it raise other prices," Finance Minister Badereldien Mahmoud told reporters after ministers endorsed the 2014 budget. It will go before parliament on Wednesday. In September, the government slashed fuel subsidies and unified its multiple foreign exchange rates, measures recommended by the International Monetary Fund. The resulting jump of more than 60 percent in the retail price of fuel drove thousands into the streets in protest. Security forces are believed to have killed more than 200 demonstrators, Amnesty International said, but authorities reported a toll of less than half that. Analysts said the spontaneous protests pointed to an urgent need for change by the Arab-dominated regime grappling with ethnic rebellions in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, dissension within its own ranks, economic crisis and international isolation. Bashir, who took power in a 1989 Islamist-backed coup, last Sunday replaced his two vice presidents and unveiled a partially new cabinet. Mahmoud replaced Ali Mahmud al-Rasul, who presided over the collapse of the Sudanese currency and soaring inflation after the separation of South Sudan in 2011. Khartoum lost billions of dollars in export earnings when South Sudan became independent, taking with it most of Sudan's oil production. Since then the government has struggled with a shortage of hard currency and revenue.

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