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Sudan's electricity tariffs increase aims to cover deficit, says minister

The Sudanese Electricity Transmission company in Khartoum, on 20 June 2019 [YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images]
The Sudanese Electricity Transmission company in Khartoum, on 20 June 2019 [YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images]

Increasing electricity tariffs was the "alternative" on offer to the country's finance ministry to cover domestic electricity demands, Sudanese Energy Minister, Khairy Abdel Rahman, announced yesterday.

"Electricity subsidy cuts are designed to consider vulnerable social segments, as well as basic industries," Abdel Rahman said in a statement, adding that electricity subsidies would remain at their previous rates for places of worship, pharmacies and agricultural lands.

He pointed out that the decision was as a result of an "increase in the country's annual inflation and public salaries last year," noting that the old tariff system was "hindering foreign investments in the electricity field."

"Sudan's old tariff system was ignoring the depreciation processes of the equipment that relies on large and small engines such as turbines and thermal machines, as well as cost reviews in proportion to expenditures levels," the minister added.

On Sunday, the Sudanese transitional government said it would increase the price of electricity for both the residential and industrial sectors, pledging "to maintain subsidies within the budget of the new financial year."

The Economic Committee of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), which read the popular protests that brought an end to the rule of President Omar Al-Bashir, demanded the immediate cancellation of the tariff increases, which it said amounted to a 500 per cent rise in electricity prices.

READ: Sudan harmed most by Ethiopia Nile dam conflict

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