Sudan: Historic Salary Hike Sees Prices Soar

Khartoum — Prices of commodities have soared, and transportation tariffs doubled over the last several days across Sudan. The increases are largely attributed to the dramatic increase in salaries in the country recently.

On Monday, the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) issued banknotes in the SDG 200* denomination as prices increased 'significantly'. It is reported that the price of a gallon of gasoline jumped from SDG 28 to SDG 128, while a gallon of diesel increased from SDG 17 to SDG 103. Transportation tariffs have doubled.

As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, Banks in Sudan limited the daily withdrawal maximum of SDG 5,000 to SDG 2,000.

Ministry of Finance

On April 16, Radio Dabanga reported that Sudan's Ministry of Finance raised the minimum wage from SDG 425 to SDG 3,000, the largest increase in the history of the Civil Service in the country. As of May, the salaries of civil servants will be increased by an average of 569 per cent, the ministry stated.

IMF

On March 12, Radio Dabanga reported that the International Monetary Fund in its latest country report on Sudan has warned that the Sudanese economy would continue its negative path unless the government undertakes decisive financial reforms. The IMF also stated that while regime change has created a window of opportunity for fundamental reforms to address major macro imbalances and lay the groundwork for inclusive growth, the challenges facing the new government are daunting.

"The economy is shrinking, macroeconomic imbalances are large, competitiveness is weak, and the humanitarian situation is dire. Concerns about governance and corruption persist. Sudan's listing as a state sponsor of terrorism by the United States also blocks progress toward HIPC debt relief and the clearance of large arrears to the IMF," the report says.

Additionally, Sudanese economist Ahmed Hamid explained that the government's plan to increase wages would lead to the rise in prices, which in turn leads to increased rates of inflation.

* USD 1 = SDG 55.1375 at the time of publishing this article. As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

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