Taxation in Sudan: Workers, Traders Protests Tax Increase and Economic Struggles

Taxation in Sudan: Workers, Traders Protests Tax Increase and Economic Struggles
  • The workers and traders also protested how this increase had snowballed to economic struggles

Taxation in Sudan became the talk of town when recently, workers and traders in different parts of the country went on strike to protest inflated taxes, high fines, and the government’s failure to pay salaries and implement promised 2022 salary structure.

Due to the terrible state of the country’s economy, and poverty most Sudanese are striving to afford their basic needs.

When the military took power in a coup on October 25, 2021, the government lost more than $4 billion in international support which was attained by the previous government of PM Abdallah Hamdok. Since then, exports have reduced considerably, leading to a loss of income, and recently the Finance Ministry declared that it expects no external support for the 2023 budget.

Now that state governments declared substantial tax increases to augment their income, there have been a lot of chaos, strikes, and protests. Traders, Shopkeepers, clinics, pharmacies, and medical laboratories are all part of the action.

According to Mohamed Abu Hereira, one of the Sennar market traders, the increase in taxes in the state is having seriously adverse effects on the citizens and should be reversed as soon as possible.

He mentioned that the excessive taxes will lead to substantial losses among traders and force many of them to vacate the market permanently.

The traders have reached out to the tax director in Singa, the capital of Sennar, through a memorandum, but did not receive a favorable answer.

In Tembol, workers went on strike and traders closed their shops at the town’s market to protest a tax increase and recent days-long electricity and water outages.

In eastern Sudan, the El Gedaref Traders Association threatened to strike as well due to the imposition of excessive taxes that surpassed the prior estimates by three times.

Taxation in Sudan: Salary strikes

Following the Federal Ministry of Health’s refusal to grant their demands within the period specified, junior doctors in all hospitals across Sudan have embarked on a three-day general strike.

The Junior Doctors Committee recently revealed in a statement that the government has failed to pay their salaries for eight months and if this continues, the committee will likely extend the strike for an indefinite period.

On September 12, the High Committee for Claiming Workers’ Rights in Red Sea state declared the continuation of the strike for the second week to request allowances according to the new 2022 salary structure.

Following the federal authorities’ failure to execute the promised 2022 salary structure for civil servants, which increases wages amidst Sudan’s rising inflation, Sudan has been experiencing a large number of strikes and protests.

Despite being more than halfway through the year, a lot of workers are still paid their old salaries rather than the increased 2022 wage.

The committee announced in a statement that it refused a proposal made by the state government to pay a substitute in cash and continue paying the clothing allowance according to the old salary structure.

It ascertained that it has no objection to slating the payment of the allowances in installments, but they should be forked out according to the new salary structure so that workers get the full amount they are entitled to.

In northern Sudan, doctors disclosed the escalation of their protests following the dismissal of the official spokesperson for the steering committee of the Northern State Doctors Association by the director general of the state’s Ministry of Health. The committee finds the decision unfair and declared new steps for escalation.

In North Darfur, protesters continued to shut down the state offices in El Sereif locality with a sit-in on Sunday, for the fourth consecutive day, to protest the selection of a new superintendent from the Bani Hussein tribe.

The protesters accused the North Darfur authorities of failing to observe an earlier agreement concerning the appointment of native administration leaders, in particular concerning nazirs.

The agreement stipulates that each tribe should hold a conference to elect its nazir, and that they should not be elected by state authorities.

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