Sudan Parliament Approves 2014 Budget Proposal in Third Reading

Khartoum — The Sudanese parliament on Sunday passed the draft 2014 budget along with the Income Tax Bill in the third reading.

The Chairman of the Committee for Coordination and Drafting Omar Ali al-Amin stressed in his report the need to raise productivity through the provision of support services.

His report also called on the finance ministry to take precautions in order to avoid any emergency that leads to lower revenue without compromising the employees' compensation or the availability of strategic commodities.

The Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Mining Omar Adam Rahma on his end downplayed the ongoing crisis in South Sudan saying it will not affect the flow of oil through Sudanese territory.

Rahma acknowledged that the events may reduce revenues but not the oil needs of Sudan.

Sudan receives a fee for every barrel of oil exported through its territory from landlocked South Sudan which has no other way to transport the crude to international market.

In 2013, Sudan expects to receive around $500 million in transit fees since oil production was restarted in June after more than a year of suspension.

Rahma noted that recent shortage in gasoline which he said was due to non-receipt by fuel companies and not because of scarcity.

The 2014 budget incorporated introduced around 10 amendments including raising health insurance costs from 40 to 48 pounds.

The parliament was deeply divided over allocations and federal transfers to states with MPs asking for an increase to their respective states.

However, the finance minister warned that this will prompt the government to lift subsidies further.

The 2014 budget projects 46.2 billion pounds in revenues with no deficit which is 42% higher than the previous fiscal year.

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