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Sudanese Communists warn IMF deal is unlikely to be good news for their country

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached “initial agreement” with Sudan’s transitional government on how to restructure its economy, it said today.

Neither it nor the Sudanese government provided details, but the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) warns that previous IMF recommendations have “caused great damage to the Sudanese economy” and in fact prompted the revolution of 2018-19, as an end to wheat and fuel subsidies resulted in spiralling prices.

The IMF said that its package focuses on “reducing fiscal and external deficits to contain inflation, strengthening social programmes … and improving the business environment.” Its Sudan mission leader Daniel Kanda said it envisaged “increasing domestic revenue and reforming energy subsidies,” but hoped money saved could be spent on healthcare and poor relief.

But the SCP said: “As a result of Sudan’s response to IMF conditions of borrowing, the prices of basic commodities such as bread and food products have increased insanely.

“Wherever you find the IMF, there are crises,” it added, pointing out that a 2011 five-year IMF programme purporting to deal with the economic fallout from the secession of South Sudan, where most of the country’s oil revenue was generated, had involved “reducing public-sector employment, reducing wages, privatising public assets and reducing spending … which made the situation worse.”

The SCP said that there would be no “real development in Sudan or other countries trapped in the pliers of foreign debt — unless they get rid of the debts and steer clear of the advice and conditions of the IMF.”

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