Fuel subsidies must be eliminated -Dhieu
By David Mono Danga
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Stephen Dhieu Dau on Thursday said the government’s fuel subsidies must be eliminated or reduced because it was killing the private sector and thus, wasting public resources.
“It’s only a viable source for us to meet the priorities of the government and pay (civil servants) salaries on time if the fuel subsidies is reduced or eliminated. It will also encourage the private sector to invest and to come in to trade in fuel products,” Minister Dau said.
“But if it (fuel) is subsidized by the government, it is killing the private sector, and it will be a waste of public resources, so we are looking forward to it that the fuel subsidy is either reduced or eliminated,” Minister Dau said.
Minister Dau was speaking to the press at the Embassy of China after the celebration of the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The Minister said they were working on how to reduce or eliminate the fuel subsidies, saying elimination of subsidies would encourage the private sector to invest in the economy.
“We were advised to present more details on how fuel subsidies can be reduced or eliminated. We are finalizing the report which is to be tabled before the parliament.”
On 10th of August this year, Minister Dau tabled the removal of fuel subsidies bill before the parliament but during the deliberation of the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2017/2018, some members of parliament disagreed over the matter.
In the proposed budget, Minister Dau proposed that the subsidies be removed to avail some money for State transfers and salaries of civil servants, saying if the government eliminates the fuel price subsidies, it will be in a position to pay salaries on time, something it (government) has been struggling to do.
A Member of Parliament, Ahmed Mohamed Musa had said that the fuel subsidies bill should be handled with care, because, to him, any decision without considering the ordinary people would cause a lot of suffering on the citizens. “We should not handle it like the devaluation of the South Sudanese pounds in 2015 not to cause problems to the country,” Musa said.