By Taban Henry
The South Sudan Business Community is calling on the East African Community to exempt the taxes being imposed on them as they transport their goods from Mombasa to Bibia.
This was revealed to the media on Wednesday during the meeting held between the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce with the members of parliament representing South Sudan in the East African Legislative Assembly in order to sensitize the South Sudan Business Community on one of the pillars in regards to the East African common market protocol. The East African Common Market protocol is an economic bloc that centred on doing business.
Speaking after the meeting, the chairperson for the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Lodu Lukak said that they face a lot of challenges hindering the transportation of goods from Mombasa to Juba.
He revealed that there are a lot of challenges “earlier people used to say dollar crisis but today it has become the problem of the challenges imposed on the business by the people from Mombasa to Bibia”.
“If there was unity between the East African Communities, why would they impose a lot of taxes to our people? Our business people do bring food items from Mombasa and they are being over charged,” he said.
Lukak is calling upon the members of parliament representing South Sudan in the East African Legislative Assembly to raise the concern to the parliament so that amicable solutions are reached.
He added that it would be good if the East African Communities could unite and eliminate or forgive the charges imposed as well as stop transportation of fake goods like marungi and alcohol which has already damaged some of the children.
“The charges imposed on the road has to be taken out, when we bring 20 tons they charge us at the port 8000 USD as the waybill from Mombasa up to Bibia another problem is delay of our goods also has been making us to face a lot of charges so we expect our goods to be directly transported without any delay,” he added.
Meanwhile the chairperson of the members of parliament representing South Sudan to the East African Legislative Assembly Thomas Dut Gatkek said that the purpose of the meeting was to sensitize the business community on a very important pillar of the East African Community that focus on the common market protocol.
“East African Community common market protocol is an economic development bloc that centred on doing business with the aim of strengthening business among the member states in that regard it has element to facilitate the process,” he said.
Duk revealed that this protocol has three core values that is free movement of goods and services, labour and capital that is money from across the member states.
“We highlighted to them the importance of these pillars, what are the impacts and benefits in return we learned a lot after this. We shall table there complaints to the East African Parliament to generate some recommendations and solutions to the challenges the South Sudan Business Community is facing,” he explained.