By Yang Ater Yang
Rumbek municipal council yesterday held a meeting with over a hundred traders on how the administration of Municipal council can cooperate with them.
The Mayor of Rumbek municipal council, Peter Maliab blamed the traders for the high market price, arguing that the business communities have continued to hike prices despite paying lover taxes.
Peter Maliab Chieny Malok differed with the complaints raised by the traders that they were being overtaxed at the entry points.
Mayor Peter Maliab Chieny said that, he received complaints based on what he heard from the public, the majority of them stated that market prices have increased.
The Mayor said in statement to media that South Sudan is a free market bound by the policy hence traders cannot be affected.
“I do agree with those traders because three quarters of our traders in Rumbek are opportunists our market is a free market, and it’s the policy of the government of South Sudan to keep our market open due to productivity that is why everything is brought from outside” Maliab said.
He said the government especially the Rumbek municipal council, understands that traders also pay taxes at the border points in Nimule and among but the taxes cannot be compared to what the ministry of Trade collects from traders.
“I am aware that what they are paying as taxes at the border from Uganda, Kenya and other bordering countries but what we do here, we are not collecting amount of money from the traders as municipal council administration, we implement the resolution that comes out of the agreement between business people and the ministry concerned to circulate the order according to the local government act 2009 as defended by the municipal council” he said.
The Mayor said that the meeting with the traders was vital in lowering prices in all the markets in Lakes state.
“We asked the traders to occasion their goods particularly food commodities during the meeting including prices of maize floor which increased from 12, 500 SSP to 17, 000 SSP and other basic needs” Maliab continued.
He appealed to traders to cooperate with the government to discuss how they can work together for the common interest of the residents of Rumbek.
Maliab stated that they performed market assessments and found the commodity prices in the market are high, urging the traders to reduce the prices for local populations.
However, he blamed some corrupt individuals for coming up with exorbitant charges that are denying the traders profits.
In his address to traders, the Commissioner of Rumbek Central county Dut Manaak Kuot acknowledged the traders’ complaints were genuine and were being addressed. He said the government of Lakes state is stable in terms of security and there are no criminals looting goods.