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PUBLIC-Up in arms against prices disparity

By John Agok

The citizens yesterday called on the government to monitor and control prices of commodities in the market as South Sudanese Pound gains strength against the US dollar.

Juba Monitor caught up with traders and local consumers including activistswho reacted on the recent development in the market.

Yesterday, it was evaluated that1 dollar stood at 400 fromSSP 620, a move that was received with joy by the common person.

Despite the drastic drop of dollar rate, the essential commodity prices still remained high.

Keji Leila is a retaileratKonyokonyok market who bitterly complained about static market prices even if the dollar rate has dropped.

“We as consumers, we are really wondering as to why the prices are still hiking while the dollar has drastically dropped,” she said.

Ms. Leila called on the government especially the chamber of commerce to set up a board that keeps on monitoring the uniformity in the prices of basic goods and avoid disparity in market prices.

“Government need to form a body which is supposed to monitor the prices of essential commodities daily,” she added.

Mr. Wani John, a customer at Konyokonyo Market told Juba Monitor that, the government has a mandate to control the prices and should form a board headed by anybody from the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) to be collecting data daily on prices.

“The Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with relevant stakeholders should publish daily the prices of essential commodities in the Market,” he said.

Mr. Mohamed Abdullah, a Somali trader in Konyokonyo Market felt doubtful about the continuity of dollar drop in the market exchange rate.

“We are expecting the exchange rate of the dollar to continue dropping but we still remain doubtful for this exercise from Central Bank and other relevantinstitutions,” he said.

Mr. Abdullah warned of scarcity of goods in the market if the government does not secure the availability of enough dollars to traders for importing basic commodities.

“Traders need more hard currency to import more goods into the country,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Wodcan Savior Lazarus, the Executive Director- Support Peace Initiative Development organization (SPIDO) blamedthe government for lack of responsibility tomonitor the disparity of prices in the market which hit hard the lives of common citizens who cannot afford food daily.

Mr. Lazarus also urged the government to subsidize the fuel prices to ensure that, the transport fees does not become an issue to all ordinary people on the street of Juba.

Early this month, the government decision to auction 3 million USD to commercials Banks and forexes was widely embraced, since dollar rate has recently dropped. 

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