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Ultimatum-traders given 72-hours to reduce Prices

By Gilo Jr. Okwata    

The South Sudan Business Union (SSBU) jointly with the Central Equatoria Chamber of Commerce issued a 72-hours ultimatum for traders and business community to reduce the hyper prices of basic commodities in the market.

The order came after days of dramatic swinging values between South Sudanese pounds and US dollar which led to panic in the market causing the skyrocketing of prices of essential commodities.

Speaking on Saturday in a joint conference with Chamber of Commerce, the President of South Sudan Business Union Ayii Duang Ayii said he’s giving traders across the country only two days to reduce the market prices following the decrease in the dollar rate at the parallel market.

“I will be sending my teams to survey the markets from Monday next week.

I am telling all traders both national and foreign should lower prices of basic commodities,” Ayii said.

He also appealed to security operatives especially the economic unit to monitor prices of the goods at the local markets.

On his part, Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce chair, Robert Pitia said there was no basis for prices to remain high yet they know most traders have old stock and there has also been a decrease in the dollar rate.

The order came after days of dramatic swinging values between South Sudanese pounds and US dollar which led to panic in the market causing the skyrocketing of prices of essential commodities.

In August this year, the deputy governor of Central Bank admitted that the Bank has run out of foreign reserves amidst depreciating value of South Sudanese pound against the dollar.

As the dust settled on the deputy governor statement, came another decision, this time from the Council of Ministers after what appeared to be an extraordinary meeting which supposedly resolved to change the currency, a statement which was later refuted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation after meeting the President.

The consequential statement sent a shockwave to the whole nation with some business persons deciding to close the shops as the value of the pounds run at supersonic speed against the dollar.

Two days later, the government appealed to traders to reduce the prices in the market for the good of common person and to improve the economy.

However, the Business Union has threatened the traders to lower the prices of commodities or else.

The questions now still remain; what action would be taken against those who will not heed to the ultimatum? What impacts will action of such ultimatum have on the traders and economy? How will the traders respond to the order?

These questions whether they are going to be answered or not, only time will determine.

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