Sudan waives food tax, duties to fight inflation

September 21, 2011 03:02

KHARTOUM - Sudan will temporarily waive taxes and custom duties on a range of basic food items to fight spiraling inflation, a government official said on Tuesday, after price rises triggered a rare call to boycott meat.

The African country has been hit by an economic crisis with annual inflation topping 21 percent in August and high unemployment, compounded by a long-running US trade embargo. The Sudanese pound plunged to a new low last week as importers struggled to get dollars.

The Sudanese Consumer Protection Society called for a boycott on meat this week to protest against rising food prices. Many butchers in the capital Khartoum have seen far fewer customers over the past few days.

To boost supplies and bring down prices the government will temporarily waive taxes and custom duties for 12 basic food items such as lentils, milk and cooking oil, Khartoum governor Abdulrahman al-Khidir told reporters on Tuesday.

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