Editorial: Fuel Subsidy

The subsidy is one of the most thorny issues facing the transitional government and in reality all the other pervious governments. This is basically due to a combination of factors including bad economic policies, political manipulation and during the last thirty years institutional corruption and non-transparency in the conduct of public affairs.
The first step in this file should be a complete government transparency on the real amount of subsides, which commodities are subsidized and a comparison between the local and international prices. Some commodities like sugar the local price is 4 or 5 times the international price and this also apply to the edible oils.
But let us focus for the present on two commodities; breed and fuel. The fuel subsidy companies gasoline and benzene; gasoline is an important factor of production for the agricultural sector and any increase in the price of gasoline will negatively impact this sector and as it will also increase the cost of transport by trucks the cost of commodities. The case of benzene is another story because 80 percent of the beneficiaries as anyone in the streets of any city and particularly greater Khartoum are private car owners who represent less than 5 percent of population are subsided by the other 95 percent who don’t own cars and use the public transport system. So, while we support subsidize to gasoline demand at the same time end of subsidize to benzene. We have noticed in the media that some interest groups tries to mix these issues ,so it is important that the media make clear distinction between what is in the public interest to support.
On the other hand, we think that the bread subsidy needs a very radical review from the importation and manufacturing process to the distribution system to the bakeries because it is besieged by a wide range of corruption nets and unprecedented administrative incompetence.

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