Traders decry high taxes in Nimule
By Wek Atak Kacjang
Groups of business community from various markets are concerned over high taxes in Nimule border that could not let them reduce food commodities in the market.
On Wednesday, the Central Equatoria State together with State Chamber of Commerce met with traders on the issue of high prices in the market despite the drop in the rate of US dollars.
Addressing the Media on Wednesday, the State Minister of Trade and Industry Wani Tom Sebit said his Ministry was observing whether foreign currency has dropped in the market but still pricesof food commodities remained high.
“What is the reason why prices of goods are still up? I don’t understand why the prices in markets are still up and yet the dollar rate is dropping,” he said.
Meanwhile, theChairman of Somalia Business Association, Said Jamac Musa saidthere is no relationship between traders directly with theCentral Bank because the commercial people who are bringing materials have no link with the Central Bank.
“If the dollar rate goes to business people,I believe the prices will go down. The black market will be eliminatedbut that is why we say there is no relationship between traders and the Central Bank,” Musa said.
He added that too much taxes in Nimule border contributed to the problem.
However, Abdullah Hassan Ali said dollar is not the only factor that is skyrocketing prices in the market.
“Of course, it is true that the dollar rate had dropped. In my knowledge there is also price drop in the market like today 50kgof sugar before it was 21,000 SSP but it droppedto 15,000 SSP, 50kg of white flour was 22,500 SSP and now it droppedto 16,500 SSP, cooking oil 20 litre before was 19,000 SSP but now it has dropped to 14,500 SSP and 25kg of rice before dollar ratedropped was 12,500 SSP and currently is 8,500 SSP”.
He added that there was price drop but they didn’t reach the waycitizens wanted.“Wetraders are here to drop the prices but still the government is increasing taxes”.
“In Nimule alone before the dollar ratedropped, the truck of asset of building material used to be cleared at 200,000 SSP and today when after drop in the dollar rate, it is 300,000 and truck of white flour was cleared 216,000 SSP. I want to assure you that traders living in South Sudan are over taxed, and there is no taxes harmonization,” he said.
The Director, department of Research and Statistics Bank of South Sudan Abugo Charles Joseph Abate said it was clear that the Bank of South Sudan’s mandate is to clear the prices of business.
“For the last few months, there were some reforms taken by the Central Bank. We try hard to ensure that there is stability of foreign market and it is my surprise to hear that business people still get dollars in black market, currently Commercial Bank rates are about 42 to 56,” Abate said.