Omdurman — Independent Sudanese Members of Parliament have criticised the high cost of foreign trips by MPs, branding it 'a waste of public money.'
In group of independent MP told Radio Dabanga that the cost of foreign trips by parliament this year has been about SDG 180 million ($6.4 million*).
"Spending this kind of money [on foreign travel] confirms that the parliament does not feel the suffering of the Sudanese people amid the hardship of living. It is a waste of public money in parliamentary travel with little return."
They pointed out that there is also bias on the allocation of resources: "While they are prepared to spend SDG 180 million on foreign travel, the parliament refused to grant MPs a vehicle to travel to El Buheira village in Sudan's River Nile state to console the families of victims of the of the tragedy of August 15 in which 22 school children and a woman doctor drowned when the boat they were travelling capsized in the Nile.
Sudan is suffering from a chronic lack of hard currency and cash, while exports remain low. High inflation figures caused a severe drop in purchasing power among the Sudanese since early January, after the government implemented major austerity measures.
The country also witnessed repeated fuel and wheat shortages. Several economists have warned for an economic collapse.
In a speech to the Parliament last week, President Omar Al Bashir said that Sudan has passed through a rise of prices and scarcity of liquidity, and will continue to do so in the future.
* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)