Sudan: New Fuel Prices Set to Combat Shortages

Khartoum — Yesterday, Sudan's acting Minister of Energy and Mining Kheiri Abdelrahman briefed Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok about the fuel, gas, and power shortages in the country. On Sunday, an agreement on the new fuel prices was reached.

In a press conference after the meeting in Khartoum, acting Minister Kheiri Abdelrahman said that he informed the PM that the crises were exacerbated by the delay in approving the new fuel prices, scheduled for mid-January, by the Ministry of Finance.

The delay led to fuel distribution companies reducing their volumes following rumours of a large price increase.

The Ministry of Finance committee tasked with setting the prices of commodities did not decide on the matter on time, Abdelrahman explained.

At the same time, the Sudanese transportation companies entered into long negotiations with the government on the new transport tariffs.

The minister also attributed the scarcity of cooking gas to the failure of the Ministry of Finance to provide sufficient foreign currency for gas imports. This delay is in addition to the delays in budget clearance and the authorisation of the amounts of money needed for exchange.

On Sunday, after an agreement was reached on the new pricing, "the situation began to ease" "and the ministry began providing quantities of gas", the minister explained.

The minister further attributed the frequent and long power outages to the government's failure and negligence to properly maintain the thermal stations and provide the necessary fuel. Abdelrahman said that "the PM has directed the provision of fuel and spare parts for the stalled machines."

According to Ayman Nimir, Governor of Khartoum, the cooking gas crisis in the Sudanese capital is caused by a deficit in the quantities of gas allocated to Khartoum state. Since the beginning of January, this deficit ranged between 62 and 90 per cent.

The crisis in Khartoum started at the end of December and only started to ease recently.

Economic crisis and shortages

Sudan currently witnesses a severe economic crisis with continuing inflation, weakening purchasing power, widespread food and fuel shortages, and increased prices for most essential commodities.

The soaring hard currency rates, in addition to the 400 per cent increase in fuel prices three months ago and the recent 500 per cent increase in power tariffs, have led to this continued increase inn consumer goods prices.

Because of these problems, demonstrations against high bread and fuel prices and the deteriorating economic situation have spread across the country.

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