Gov’t told to address soaring dollar rate

Gov’t told to address soaring dollar rate

The head of the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, Robert Pitia, called on the national government to stabilise the exchange rate to address market prices.

Pitia said the increment in prices is due to the multiple taxes imposed by the authority on the traders in the state.

He said, “We don’t have a fixed rate of dollars in the markets, either black market or banks, since we do not produce anything apart from oil.”

He said South Sudanese need the hard currency to import food, and with the instability of the local currency, traders are forced to double their prices.

“We know we don’t produce anything apart from oil; the worst thing with this hard currency is that it is not stable; you find this week another price, next week another price, and today $100 is equivalent to 101,000 SSP,” Robert said.

“The dollar is high, the commodities are high, and the state government can’t handle the inflation in Juba for now,” Robert said.

He said the Central Bank had allocated the money in terms of hard currency to the commercial banks; unfortunately, those banks are not giving the money to the traders, and the dollar finds its way to the black markets.

However, Mohammed Khalid, a trader at the Libya Market in the Munuki area, attributed the increase in prices to the multiple taxes the traders incur when importing the commodities.

“There is inflation… 1kg of maize flour, which was sold at SSP800, is now equivalent to SSP1,500, which is almost double the price, while 1kg of sugar, which was sold at SSP1000, is now at SSP1200. These price increments are due to the dollar rate,” Mohammed said.