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(Updates with comment by al-Bashir starting in second paragraph.)
Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Sudan plans to cut government spending and expand the nation’s tax base to make up for the secession of oil-rich South Sudan, President Umar al-Bashir said.
“Secession of the south created a gap in Sudan’s trade balance,” al-Bashir said today in a speech at the opening of a conference on the economy held by his ruling National Congress Party. “We want to increase our revenues without levying more taxes on citizens, and that will come by curbing government spending and expanding the tax base by 2012.”
Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil production, the third- biggest output in sub-Saharan Africa, when South Sudan gained independence on July 9. Protests were held in September and this month against the rising cost of living and worsening economic conditions.
Sudan’s annual inflation rate stood at almost 21 percent last month, the Khartoum-based Central Bureau of Statistics said on Oct. 7.
“We want to focus on economic stability to attract investors,” al-Bashir said. “We want to find a way out of the economic crisis in Sudan and elsewhere” that was due to the failure of a capitalist system that “is against God’s will.”
Al-Bashir announced on Oct. 12 that Sudan planned to draft an Islamic constitution, enshrining Sharia as the main source of Sudanese law.
--Editors: Karl Maier, Ben Holland
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