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ECONOMY-committee told to address fluctuation

By James Atem Kuir

The Economic Crisis Management Committee (ECMC) has been urged to resolve the current devaluation of South Sudanese Pound against the hard currency in order to address hikes of prices in the market.

Of recent, South Sudanese Pound has seen sharp decline in its value against the US dollar due to combined factors ranging from fall of oil prices in the world market to COVID-19 as well as the aftermaths of the civil war.

But Economist, Dr. Abraham Maliet Mamer, the Acting Undersecretary Ministry of Investment believes the ECMC has what it takes to address the present depreciation of the country’s currency as long as the existing economic hardship constitutes a crisis.

“Right now, there is so much fluctuation going on in the country. Is it going to be left like that? This should be fixed….the ECMC and the government should say Dollar is selling at this or that, and enforce it, see who is going to go out opposing it and jail them! Now you cannot stop me from selling Dollar at any price that I  need because there is no law, telling me that don’t sell it at 20,000, 30,000 or 50,000 SSP…You need to control this, enact laws. Unless we don’t want to change the current problems, this is a crisis!” Dr. Mamer urged.

Dr. Mamer stressed that the government needs to immediately assess and broaden tax base while addressing loopholes in the taxation system in order to eliminate corruption and determine the worth of the tax revenues.

“We need to tighten the tax loopholes that exist by introducing a system that can give you accurate tax you need from a business, for example, if you are doing business, you need to bring your accounts to be seen by the government…it is this profit and loss accounts that a tax percentage is calculated.

You need to broaden your tax (base), we should tax items to be broadening, we need to bring value added tax, environment tax, sale tax, profit tax and so forth so when you go to the market and buy, you will see a breakdown on receipt indicating percentages of each tax so that you will know how much per cent the government gets from the sale of that particular commodity,” Dr. Mamer added.

He asserted that empowering the private sector to produce and sell within the country to curb shortages of commodities was imperative.

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