Sudan plans to cut security budget-state media

Reuters , Sunday 16 Oct 2011

Sudan struggling with a severe economic crisis, did not say by much the security budget would be cut

Analysts said the Sudanese government's decision to cut security and secret services budget, signalled that the government was serious about cutting expenditures, as the country's large budget for security forces and secret services has in the past been largely protected from cuts.

The African country has been hit by an economic crisis after losing most of its oil production -- the main source of state income -- when South Sudan became independent in July. The Sudanese pound has fallen since then alongside a decline in foreign currency inflows as a result of lower oil revenues. Annual inflation was almost 21 per cent in September.

The finance ministry agreed with the security forces and secret services to cut their budget from 2012, state-linked Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) said late on Saturday, quoting officials from the finance ministry and the security forces.

It did not say by much the security budget would be cut. Traditionally the security and defense budget is one of the largest overall budget components, analysts say.

Last month the central bank governor said Sudan needed to cut costs by more than 25 per cent this year to help the economy.

He also appealed to fellow Arab states to put deposits worth $4 billion into accounts of the central bank and commercial lenders. Sudan hopes to expand the exports of gold and other minerals and develop its agricultural sector to offset the loss of oil revenues.

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