Khartoum — The Council of Ministers, in a meeting , which was chaired by the Fisrt Vice-President of the Republic and National Prime Minister, Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, approved directives of the state 2018 budget presented by Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Mohamed Osman Al-Rekabi.
Cabinet's Official Spokesman, Dr Omer Mohamed Saleh said in press statements , that the budget directives based on the President's electoral program, the Five-year economic planning , the Third Planning(2017-2020), state reform program and the national dialogue outcome.
He stated that budget directives include slashing of inflation rates, stability of exchange rate , increase of production and productivity, amelioration of veterinary services to protect the national cattle, increase of oil and gas production , ;providing appropriate climate for investments in areas of mining ,and keeping on implementation of water harvesting projects.
He added the directives also include localization of engineering industries, promotion of media institutions , reduction of budget deficit to the safest level , maintaining security and peace , reduction of trade balance deficit, slashing poverty and handling its causes , expansion of health insurance coverage , development of high education and scientific research infrastructures , boosting culture of self-employment and using IT to enhancement of services provided by the Government to citizens.
Dr Saleh said the Cabinet appreciated efforts of Ministry and the economic development ministerial sector on preparing the directives of the year 2018 budget.
He added that Minister of Finance also recommended amendment of the 1986 Personal Income Tax to exempt allowances of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha from the tax , besides raising the minimum size of income eligible for personal tax to SDG14400 in a year.
He further added the Cabinet has passed the recommendation presented by Minister of Finance.
The Federal Cabinet Spokesman said the Council of Ministers also approved a recommendation exempting banking and financial services operated through mobile phones from VAT , a matter which , he explained, would alleviate people's burdens.