KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The Government on Monday warned extreme punitive and legal measures would be applied against those involved in hard currency black market and those smuggling gold or illegally sneaking government subsidized commodities to some neighboring countries.
A meeting chaired by the head of the state, Field Marshal Omar Bashir, stressed that no matter what the status or position of those involved in such practices, they will face charges of sabotage of national economy, terrorism funding, and money laundry.
The meeting, which brought the First Vice President of the Republic, Minister for Finance and National Economy, the Central Bank of Sudan governor, the Attorney General and the Director of the Sudanese national Intelligence and Security Service on Monday, said these charges will also be directed to those dealing in gold smuggling and those avoiding payment of exports revenues fees as well.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mohamed Osman Rikkabi, told a press briefing following the meeting that a number of other decisions have been taken and policies on the long and short run adopted including halting purchase by any public company in hard currency, and that the central bank of the Sudan would regulate any future demands.
He said it was also decided that bank funding should be diverted to real production sectors and that purchase of companies with huge liquidities in hard currency be organized and placed under supervision and control.
He said the meeting has also decided that all measures be taken to end smuggling of subsidized commodities and goods to some neighboring countries.
The minister said travel by government officials would be brought under strict control and would be carried out only in case of extreme necessity and that travel by government officials and heads of companies and institutions would only be okayed and stamped by Council of Ministers.
He said the meeting decided to temporarily halt any funding for local trade, and that such funds be directed to the productive sectors and to transformational industries.
The meeting, the minister stressed, has also decided to put a ceiling for airtime cash transfer, and that such a ceiling be agreed upon by the Central Bank and the National Corporation for Telecommunications.
The minister said tough legal measures will be taken by the specialized attorneys, against any one dealing in illegal hard currency markets, those smuggling subsidized commodities and those smuggling gold “no matter what their status”.
He said the Bank of Sudan would organize and issue policies and measures on purchase of gold to ensure that it contributes and is involved in the official economy and halting smuggling and purchase of basic commodities and services in cash.
The Sudanese Attorney General Omar Ahmed Mohamed has meanwhile said the measures against those dealing illegally in hard currency is based on the fact that such practice is considered sabotage of the national economy. He said the specialized attorneys and the attorney for combatting smuggling would handle those cases.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan, Hazim Abdul Gadir, said the meeting which was headed by the President of the Republic Omar Bashir, adopted a number of decisions aimed to boost the capability of the central bank of Sudan and enable it control the foreign currency market, so that dealing would be carried out only through the institutions and bodies, as approved by the central bank.
The Governor said guidelines policies for import of luxury commodities was also adopted a matter that would, he said, curb demand for foreign currencies.
He revealed that the central bank would be issuing a number of measures that would enable the current pumping of unnecessary liquidity in the banking system and would veer the funds to the production sectors.
He said the funds being directed to the production sectors would avert the economy being affected by withdrawal of liquid money from the economy.
He said the meeting also discussed the unruly trend about the exchange rate and how to remedy the causes, objective and non-objective, behind this situation.
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