Report

Three days Closed doors Cabinet’s Meeting Dots the I’s and Crosses the T’s, Designs Features of Upcoming Stage

Al-Sammani Awadallah

The Sudanese Council of Ministers discussed, during its three days closed meetings, the programs of the transitional government during the last period, and evaluate government performance and the progress of plans that have been developed within the government’s five priorities.

All ministers and undersecretaries participated in the meetings to discuss the transitional government’s programs during the last period.

The meetings evaluated government performance and follow-up on the progress of programs, plans, and projects that were developed concerning the five priorities discussed in last February’s meetings.

The meetings discussed government communication and how to develop and strengthen it, pinning it into a governmental requirement for the coming period.

Undersecretaries of the ministries participated in the meetings of the transitional cabinet for the first time, based on the recommendations of the previous meeting.

It is noteworthy that the five priorities set by the Council of Ministers at the beginning of this year included the economic and social axis, the axes of peace and security, foreign relations, democratic transition and the threats surrounding it, and the completion of transitional authority structures.

The closed-door government meetings come at a time when the country is witnessing many complications at various levels.

The meetings deliberated in detail the initiative announced by PM last week over the present political situations and the cabinet affirmed its importance to reach a national consensus to confront the transition challenges. The cabinet urged all the categories and forces of the Sudanese people to provide support to the initiative to achieve the goals of the evolution.

Important Resolutions:

The Council of Ministers issued several decisions related to the previously announced five priorities which include the economy, peace, security and military, and foreign relations axes.

On the economic axis, the cabinet decided the continuation of government support to medicine, cooking gas, power, and flour besides immediately start of imposing monitoring the markets to control the prices, confiscating and handing the smuggled gold and currencies to the Central Bank of Sudan.

The cabinet also decided to immediately include one million families under the health insurance umbrella to be funded by the Zakat Chamber and Ministry of Finance to ease the burdens on the citizens.

The cabinet endorsed a monthly grant of non-taxable SDG10 billion to the workers in the public sector especially the low-income workers to meet the economic conditions as of July 2021, besides the application of the “Thamarat” program to reach 3 million families (average 15 million citizens) within to months, along with increasing the capital of (My Commodity) program from SDG2 billion to SDG10 billion to allow for more beneficiaries in all states and starting immediately in activating the productive consuming cooperatives.

The cabinet had reviewed the defects in the salaries structure so it directed revising it and applying the new structure as of the new year besides the recruitment of 5 thousand employees in the capital and states to reduce unemployment.

The Council of Ministers affirmed the free education for kids of school ages in government schools through a strong mechanism to follow up the implementation of the decision.

The cabinet issued a resolution to stop the importation from self-resources of the client and banning the importation without banking procedures besides non-acceptance of any settlement in this regard.

The cabinet decided also to complete the procedures of gold and crops bourse, besides providing the required funding for agricultural inputs in the irrigated and rain-fed sectors through banking burse and the Ministry of Finance besides starting immediately in completing Garri Power Station (3) which is expected to add 450 megawatts to the national grid.

The Council of Ministers decided to provide the required funding for the maintenance of all power stations before the end of the year.

The cabinet also decided to sign the solar energy projects contracts besides the rehabilitation of irrigated projects to add 100 thousand feddan to the existing areas, besides drilling 500 wells in all states.

Peace Axis:

The Council of Ministers gave special attention to the peace axis which has not been accomplished, so the direct talks with the SPLM-N (Al-Hilu) should resume as soon as possible to sign a framework agreement to push the issue forward towards reaching a comprehensive peace agreement, along with urging the SLM (Abdulwahid) to join the peace process.

Juba Peace Agreement is facing some challenges especially the security arrangements and the non-fulfillment of the donors, but the council of ministers decided to provide the necessary resources to guarantee the implementation of the agreement.

On handing those indicted in Darfur war crimes, the government decided to hand those who were subject to arrest warrants to the ICC

On the Eastern Sudan issue, the council of ministers decided to deal with the issue from all its dimensions with the participation of all concerned parties and components in the region.

Security Challenges:

The security axis was a joint concern so the cabinet decided to support the Sudanese Armed Forces in its redeployment inside the Sudanese eastern territories, besides supporting the police authorities to enable it to conduct its duties professionally.

The cabinet decided to review the laws related to internal security, police, general intelligence service, besides providing the required resources to implement the security arrangements protocol of the Juba Peace Agreement.

The cabinet decided to form a ministerial mechanism to make the required reforms in the general intelligence service besides boosting the security measures in oil production wells and the continuation of dealing with the local communities’ issues.

Benefiting from Openness

Following the revolution, Sudan has witnessed broad foreign openness, so the council of ministers decided to utilize this openness to resolve the regional outstanding issues through intensifying the efforts on the GERD issue to achieve the interests of Sudan and its water resources.

The cabinet also called for a national conference on foreign relations to set a foreign relations strategy, besides fulfilling the financial obligations for the Sudanese diplomatic missions abroad.

Democratic transition Issues

The Council of Ministers decided to work with all parties to form the legislative council within less than one month considering that its absence was one of the government concerns.

The formation of the legislative council represents an addition to the transitional government considering that the political blocs are demanding more representation a matter that might lead to increasing the seats more than what was agreed on in the constitutional document.

The Council of Ministers decided to early preparation for the upcoming elections through drafting two legislations i.e. elections commission and constitution-making commission, besides completing drafting Supreme Judicial Council to act within one month.

The Council also decided to support the committee of dismantling the 30th June regime, besides upgrading the internal public communications and supporting the efforts of the sit-in dispersal committee.

Austerity Measures:

In recognition of the deteriorated economic situations and the limited resources, the Council of Ministers decided to reduce the public expenditure and the participation in the foreign regional and international occasions by 50% besides reducing the fuel quota for public vehicles by 20% and selling the surplus vehicles to utilize its revenue in the rehabilitation of hospitals and providing drugs.

The allowances of the diplomatic missions will be reduced by 25% and canceling the allowances of the constitutional posts officials, undersecretaries, and heads of units.

Conclusion:

The meeting comes four months after the formation of the peace government and setting the emergency plan in the previous closed-door meeting to review the previous plan and respond to the conditions the country is witnessing in all aspects.

The meeting aimed at setting a plan for urgent interventions with clear indicators for the remaining six months of this year.

The Council of ministers affirmed that the meeting was dominated by real cooperation and constructive discussion.

The economic resolutions aimed at reforming the structural defects in our national economy.

It is time now to reap the fruits of what we had planted in the previous period in writing off our foreign debt, returning to the international community, and the flow of the foreign investments in all important sectors to allow for the economy to move forward.

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