Traders urge gov’t to address issues hiking market prices

Onions in Custom market (Photo: Tereza Jeremiah)

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

Some traders in Juba’s custom market are calling on the government to address issues of skyrocketing market prices. As traders have always complained of multiple taxes imposed on their goods making them to increase prices to recover the cost.

Businessmen and women have often raised concerns of high multiple taxes levied against their businesses forcing them to put the burden on their customers in order to realize some returns.

Christian Ladu a retail businesswoman selling Onion, urged the government to support small scale traders by giving them some loans in order to boost their small businesses not to discourage then from the market.

“The price of the onion currently in the market is 200 South Sudanese Pound (SSP) and also 500 SSP, but at least last month we would sell even at 100 SSP but currently unless we just need to help, because some of the customers come to us crying saying all they have is 100SSP for instance, so we end up not getting any profit from our businesses, but if the government give grant to us it would somehow help,” she said.

Josephine, another businesswoman who also deals in onion retail business at the Custom market, called on the President to look into the challenges facing traders in the market to ensure high prices issue is addressed.

“If am to get a chance of talking to the President just for once, I believe he wouldn’t sleep, because sometimes we feel like he is not there for us, we are suffering here in the market and no solution, why is the government not intervening and the market is getting worst every day”  Josephine questioned.

She wondered why the (government) is allowing the market to be like that, yet she believes they have all the powers to settle all this that is happening.

Josephine noted that previously the bucket of tomatoes cost fifteen thousand pounds but it has now gone up to 25,000SSP, to 30,000SSP and if they come and sell, no profit.

She said now they sell four pieces at 500SSP but before they would sell at 300SSP.

According to Josephine, goods from Khartoum and Uganda are fluctuating highly since the start of last month.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Khalid a shopkeeper, said the price of 5kg of sugar is currently 3,000 SSP but previously it was 2,600ssp, adding that this is due to the current increase in dollar rate against the pounds.

For his part Robert Pitia, the Chairperson of the Central Equatoria Chamber of Commerce asked the government to intervene in arresting the issues influencing the hike in the market prices.

“There are so many factors leading to the increase in prices and one of them is that, we are consumers not manufacturers, but I think it all need commitment from the government and I believe all this can be resolved” Pitia emphasized.

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