29-February-2020
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Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow)—Columnist Abdul Azim Salih has noted that the Sudanese people attach high hopes for checking the dreadful decline of the Sudanese economy by the Transitional Government's first ever budget of 2020 the commencement of which was announced by the Minister of Finance last Thursday.

Writing in a column that was published by Al-Sudani Aldauliyyah newspaper of Sunday, Salih said it is a pre-requisite that financial transparency be observed in implementation and rationalization of the spending, the set priorities, figures and timetables.

He asked about a rumor that the budget provides for new fees, saying the people want an immediate and straight-forward answer to this question, contrary to the previous dark-room policies of the former regime when the people used to be ignorant of any details relevant to the budget.

It is a public knowledge that the budget is faced with a number of challenges and difficulties, the foremost of which is finding optimum means for financing the deficits in numerous provisions of the budget, Salih said.

He added that the first budget of the Transitional Government is confronting other grave problems, including the subsidies, whether to be lifted or to remain place, the disastrous inflation, the deficit in the balance of payment and finding the financier, whether external or internal.

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Silence has no longer become possible or helpful, while the economic decline is degenerating swiftly and the capacity of the people is diminishing every morning with life becoming impossible and the government still faces this situation with absolute silence.

This remark was made by veteran, highly respected pre-eminent journalist Mahjoub Mohamed Salih in a column carried by Al-Sudani Aldauliyyah daily newspaper of Tuesday, adding that silence in such circumstances is not only a disastrous default but can lead to extremely grave consequences, reminding that it was the living hardship that has detonated the December Revolution.

The people are now frightfully watching daily the increasingly upward movement of the rate of the US dollar which has now exceeded one-hundred pounds and are now increasingly worried about the effect of this ascending rate on the prices of the daily necessities, said Salih.

He feared that the government came to power in an overwhelming popularity five months ago and is about to lose this popularity for not issuing a single statement conveying a promise of upcoming solutions but silence still prevails.

Because it is the government of the Revolution, the people have maintained patience towards it but patience has limits and the people have now reached its frontiers while silence is no longer helpful and has become useless, the columnist warned.

He asked the Minister of Finance to tell the people whether he can check the soaring dollar at a reasonable rate by any means, either aid or loan, for finding a support to the ailing pound.

Salih, in turn, asked the Minister of Trade to say whether he has lost hope in achieving any progress in checking the market that is crushing the poor citizen, and the Prime Minister to say whether there is no longer any hope for rescuing the Sudanese economy and, for this reason, his government has resorted to silence.

"We support this government but loyalty to any government cannot continue with hunger and the silence cannot feed any person nor can it provide any means of transport," said the outstanding journalist.

He called upon the government officials to tell the people frankly about any efforts they have achieved or they are planning to achieve and their expectations and to tell the people how and when they are going to intervene for protecting the Sudanese currency from the approaching complete collapse. (Editor comment: a televised interview has been conducted with the Prime Minister, economy and trade ministers on these issues last Tuesday).

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The corruption of the previous regime and its Islamic organization has not been granted the attention it deserves, particularly the ransacked money which should been given the top concern by the Transitional government that is presently suffering from an unmanageable economic crisis, wrote Shamail al-Nor in a column that appeared on Altayyar daily newspaper of Wednesday.

The plundered money was not only commissions seized by individuals with which they improved their financial status but was employed in founding companies and businesses that controlled the market, Shamail said.

"Where the proceeds of petroleum, gold and other exports have gone and where are they now?" The columnist asked, noting that there are international organizations specialized in reinstatement of looted money, wondering whether the government has made any contacts in this respect. 

She further asked whether the government has made an inventory of this money, whether it located the country where it is kept and whether it has seized the money and assets looted internally by the symbols of the extinct regime, its political party and Islamic organization.

"This is a strange government to emanate from a blood-shed revolution that deserves a powerful government that takes decisive resolutions," said Shamail.

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In a column that appeared on Al-Tahrir online newspaper of Thursday, Ramzy al-Misry commented on a recent Television interview with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdouk and his Finance and Trade ministers, saying that the Transitional government, as was disclosed in the interview, is now faced with a new tactic by the elements of the defunct regime who have now shifted from the political to a fierce economic war, citing the current grave economic deterioration in Sudan.

 The columnist deduced that the government of Hamdouk, in order to confront this economic war, is in need of assistance by various bodies, starting from the Resistance Committees, including the Freedom and Change Forces and ending with the Council of Ministers.

He noted that the ministers of Finance and Trade are the weakest elements in management of this "wicked" war, saying that the two ministries need strong, stern personalities that can apply an economic shoot-to-kill tactic against anybody, whether a person or a company,  that fools around with the country's economy.

 Misry said he had concluded from the interview that Premier Hamdouk has to address the people in a frank and transparent way and brief them on what is going on behind closed doors for reactivating the momentum of the revolutionaries, noting that many of them were not aware that central Bank of Sudan is not controlled by the Hamdouk's government (but by the Sovereignty Council), a situation which the columnist has described as "strange and shameful". Such disclosures would make the revolutionaries more powerful to help Hamdouk, he said.

In order to ensure victory for the Prime Minister in this economic war, the revolutionaries must assist him by supervising the bakeries and gas stations and by cleaning the residential quarters and immediately report any suspicious movements and fight the brokers and "parasites".

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The restlessness caused to some sectors of the Sudanese people by the slow performance of the Transitional government provided the associates and sympathizers of the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP) an opportunity for persistent repugnant delight and gloating over what they consider as a failure of the government and its components in solving the economic crisis.    

This remark was made by Hanady al-Siddeik in a column that was carried by Aljareedah daily newspaper of Saturday, adding that those NCP affiliates forget or pretend to forget that their party and its expanded arms are behind the livelihood suffering by selling their real estate belongings cheaply to buy the dollars in the bank price for speculation in the black market.

She said those associates of the dissolved party also purchase wheat flour and fuel and sell them for high prices in neighboring countries for the sole aim of subverting the Sudanese economy.

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MAS/AS

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