22 March 2019

Sudan: Al-Bashir Issues New Emergency Orders to Curb 'Currency Speculation'

Khartoum — On Thursday, President Al Bashir issued Emergency Orders number 6 and 7 forbidding storage and speculation of the national currency and amending earlier Emergency Orders of this year. The order also prohibits "speculation in the national currency for the purpose of harming the national economy, and storing it outside the banking system for non-authorised parties for the purpose of speculation and damage to the economy".

The Emergency Order prohibits any person from possessing or storing amounts exceeding one million Pounds and any legal body storing or possessing a national currency that does not fit the size of its activity up to a maximum of five million Pounds.

The order prohibits the possession or storage of a national currency owned by third parties in exchange for or for the purpose of circumventing the value prohibited to store or hold under this Order.

The order prohibits the counterfeiting of national and foreign currencies or the possession or transfer of any counterfeit currency or any counterfeit currency or incitement by any means to forge the national currency or not to deposit it with banks.

Forex

The order prohibits all parties or persons authorised to refuse to provide goods and services to the public, refuse to receive the payment by ATM card or bank checks or approved checks, and any person or person to perform any transaction to convert national or foreign currency or receive them outside the approved channels.

The order stipulates that anyone who contravenes the provisions of this order shall be sentenced to a term of not less than six months and not exceeding ten years and a fine, confiscation of money and storage places and any means used in committing a crime in violation of this order.

President Al Bashir issued Emergency Order No. 7 that amends Emergency Orders 2, 3, 4, 5 of this year.

The amendment of Article 13 (a) of Emergency Order No 2, which provided for "imprisonment for a period of not more than ten years and a fine", was amended after the amendment "imprisonment for a period not less than six months and not more than ten years and a fine" in Emergency Order 3, which provided for "imprisonment for a period of not more than ten years and a fine", after which the amendment shall be "imprisonment for a period not less than six months and not more than ten years and a fine"

In the Emergency Order 4 deletes the words "not exceeding ten years and a fine of not less than" SDG 50,000 ($1,050*) "And shall be replaced by the words "not less than six months and not more than ten years".

The amendments also include article 14 (a) of Emergency Order 5 which stipulated "imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years and a fine" to be amended "not less than six months and not more than ten years.

Bashir: 'Peace to all states in Sudan'

In Khartoum, President Omar Al Bashir reiterated the state's keenness to bring peace to all the states of the country.

Yesterday he directed during his meeting at the guesthouse with Dr Feisal Ibrahim, Assistant President of the Republic, unifying the peace file in the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile state) and Darfur under one umbrella.

Ibrahim said in a press statement that his meeting with the president was in the context of deliberation on many files, primarily the file of peace, which is one of the main issues of concern to the state.

"They will start calling the High Council for Peace in the next few days on these files," he said, noting that peace is one of the most important outputs for the country.

Liquidity crisis

Public anger in Sudan has been building up over price rises and other economic hardships, including expensive bread, fuel and medicines, as well as limits on cash withdrawals over a liquidity crisis.

Over the past few months, as the value of the Sudanese Pound has dropped steadily against the US Dollar. In December 2018, the Central Bank of Sudan issued a decision to set the limit of cash withdrawals by bank card at ATMs. The recent printing of new currency by the Central Bank of Sudan has been necessitated by hyperinflation, coupled with a chronic shortage of hard cash. Banks have limited cash withdrawals so traders and the public prefer to keep their cash at home, rather than deposit it into banks.

The most recent reports reaching Radio Dabanga say that a large proportion of ATMs in Khartoum state have been out of service for more than two weeks, making it difficult for people to access their February salaries.

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