Sudan Faces SDG 150 Billion Budget Deficit in 2020

Khartoum — The deficit of Sudan's 2020 budget is SDG 150 billion ($3.3 billion*), Minister of Finance Ibrahim El Badawi reported on Friday during an interview with Omdurman Radio.

El Badawi also asserted that the expenditures of the former regime in 2017 and 2018 exceeded the state budget by SDG 144 billion ($3.2 billion).

This amount is now a debt owed to the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS). El Badawi explained that the government and the CBoS agreed that the Ministry of Finance will pay off SDG 25 billion ($0.5 billion) per annum over the next six years.

The total debt is currently SDG 70 billion ($1.5 billion). The 2020 budget has a SDG 80 billion ($1.8 billion) deficit, which is 3.5 per cent of the country's GDP.

El Badawi said that the entire deficit could be covered if the price of petrol is gradually raised between March and July or August this year, and if the subsidy on diesel is gradually reduced from August onwards for a full year. In that case there will no need to borrow funds from the CBoS, according to El Badawi.

A decision about the subsidies will be taken after a dialogue with the society, the Minister said.

In total the government will spend is SDG 252 billion ($5.6 billion) on subsidies in 2020, which is 36 per cent of the total budget. In 2019 the subsidies amounted to SDG 188 billion ($4.2 billion).

*As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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