By John Agok
A positive move to establish a website that could display daily essential commodities prices concurrently with dollar exchange rates in a bid to harmonize uniformity in price unit and avoid prices disparity in the local market is underway by relevant government institutions.
While Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, the Executive Director for SPIDO Saviour Lazarus called on three government institutions to embrace the idea which will surely inform the common person and traders/ potential investors with fiscal and monetary policies that harmonize policies of trade with East Africa Community (EAC) and beyond international.
Lazarus echoed that, international market can easily follow the Country website and know more about the producers and consumers knowledge on commodity prices as well as stock market prices. This would also attract potential investors to know daily the prices of export items and equally on local products prices, that will enable the strength of local currency against hard currency. The Website will be publishing all prices of exports and imports item depending on the dollar rate exchange in the market.
“This is the high time South Sudan institution should create a website for essential commodities price and Dollar Exchange rate to be publisheddaily. This move will allow investors, traders and consumers to know uniformity of prices in the country. South Sudan do export oil, Gam Arabic , Honey among other local products but still its consumer does not know the prices tag on them”, he said.
He urged the Ministry of Trade, Chambers of Commerce and National Standard and Statistic Bureau (NBS) to lead the policy process by establishing and regulating the website.
“Ministry of Trade and other institutions have a mandate to regulate this Website by ensuring that traders/ potential investors and consumers have to follow the daily updates on essential commodity prices with Dollar Exchange rates. Although there is tendency of free market economy which regulate or control, still there should be policies set together to influence traders and consumers to harmonize prices for the common good of all citizens”, he added.
He decried lack of access of hard currency to traders in the market as another big blow which keep prices of commodity at standstill despite efforts made by Central Bank injecting dollars into the market weekly.
“Traders have been complaining that they do not have access to dollars as claimed by Central Bank. They said that maybe some cartels are profiting over it there, but if we have thesedollars, we could immediately import items and prices will definitely go down”, he concluded.
This initiative has been successful story in other countries especially East Africa Community (EAC) countries. They established stock Market website where investors together with producers and consumers follow the prices of stocks in the Market daily.
Central Bank of South Sudan has been injecting 8 million dollars weekly into the Market , a gesture that show transparency and a will to subsidize the local market in reducing essential commodity prices.