Dollar auction doesn’t reach traders- Chamber of commerce

Dollar auction doesn’t  reach traders- Chamber of commerce
The Bank of South Sudan will from Thursday start auctioning the Dollar to caution Pound.

The Central Equatoria State chairperson of chamber of commerce, Robert Pitia, has lamented that the business community is not benefitting from the Central Bank’s weekly auctioning of dollars to the commercial banks.

In an exclusive interview with City Review yesterday, Pitia said traders are forced to buy hard currency from the black market like the rest of the citizens.

“You know what I am telling you now is the problem in the policy, the Central Bank gives dollars to the commercial bank and the banks are not giving these dollars to the business community.’’

He added, “The business community is buying dollars from the black market so the question is why is there is no mechanism put in place to address this issues.’’

He called on the government to provide dollars to traders and exempt taxes on imported food items so that the people buy them at reduced prices.

However, Pitia revealed that there are many factors responsible for the high prices of goods including a lack of access to hard currency by traders.

“People do not know that there are other factors that increase the prices not only the dollar. The external factors include fuel we bring and all these from outside our country when they increase the transportation of bringing [these products] the prices of goods too,” he said.

He called on the government to support business cooperative centres to bring more goods at lower prices to the citizens.

“They should provide dollars and exempt the food that come to the country so that the people will get food at these centres which could be sold at reduced prices to compete with the market,” he added.

He urged the government to stabilise the rate of the dollar in order to streamline taxes to give the chamber time to engage with traders in reducing the prices of goods.

“We need the government to bring the dollar down and streamline the taxes. These are some of the factors the government can work on if the dollar rate comes down prices will come down too,” he said.

Pitia said multiples taxes  has been contributing to the increasing prices in the market.

“Issues of taxation you know there is some duplication in taxes [and] that is why we need the government to address it the National Revenue Authority to decide who take what so that it can be clear to avoid traders where everyone collects taxes and suddenly traders increase their prices,” he said.

According to the market survey carried out by City Review yesterday, the prices of most commodities were still high. In the Konyo Konyo market, 50kg of sugar cost SSP 26,500 while 25kg cost was sold at SSP 14,000.

A 50kg bag of beans cost SSP 36,000 while 25kg cost SSP 18,000. 20 litters jerrycan of cooking oil selling at SSP 21,000, while 50kg of maize flour cost SSP 25,000. All these are wholesale prices.

The government is auctioning $20 million dollars on to commercial banks and forex bureaus on weekly basis.