Sudan suspends power price hike

power Ricardo DiazThe Sudanese government has decided to suspend increases in power price following public discontent after a sudden hike in the last week of July

The price of electricity was increased by the government by more than 150 per cent without prior announcement. Officials later acknowledged the difficulty in the situation, but said it only applied to those who were consuming more than 600kW a month.

Sudan’s official news agency, SUNA, said that a government committee held a meeting on 5 August 2012 chaired by first vice-president Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, and decided to suspend the increases in electricity prices in residential areas.

Taha told SUNA that the meeting had listened to a briefing from the minister of water resources and electricity on the reasons for the new increases. He went on to explain that the electricity-generating sector was greatly affected by the ending of fuel subsidies, which led the ministry to hike the charges.

He added, however, that despite opting to suspend the price increases, the committee had reaffirmed the correctness of the measures and the necessity of applying gradual lifting of subsidies while protecting poor pockets of society in order to return to economic growth.

“The decision to end subsidies is technically correct but it needs comprehensive review and careful consideration of the economic situation of citizens,” he stated.

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