Oct 18, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — In attempt to stablize the economy, which is usually determined by the laws of supply and demand in many countries, South Sudan has issued a 72-hour warrant to traders and businesses in the country to reduce prices in the market with immediate effect.
Speaking during a joint press conference organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Business Union on Saturday in the capital Juba, the president of South Sudan Business Union, Lt. Gen. Ayii Duang Ayii, gave national and foreign traders upto Monday to lower prices of the commodities in the market.
The President of the Business Union, Lt. Gen. Ayii, said he will send his team to the market on Monday to ensure that the order is enforced.
Mr. Ayii also called on security forces to hold businesses accountable should they fail to heed to this order.
Responding to Gen. Ayii, the chairman of the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Robert Pitia, said there is no justification for prices to continue soaring when the currency is appreciating.
Pitia seconded Ayii that traders must reduce prices within the given time frame or else the Economic Unit of South Sudan security forces will be blamed for failing to perform its duties.
Responding to these orders, while many consumers agree that these orders should be enforced, South Sudanese intellectuals and business owners are calling on the government to offer subsidies to traders for the losses they are incuring or else let the market stablize by itself.
“That is the right decision, but should this orders work only at the national level ? Because I never heard one of our governors talking about the prices that increase day and night with out new purchased goods at the state and county levels” John Malek Thiep said.
“If you force them to reduce prices yet they bought them expensively then you are closing their businesses and another problem will arise: No goods in the market. Such measures of lowering the prices must be taken gradually. If you want them to reduce price within 72 hours then subsidize them. Work with them, find out how much they bought the goods and pay the difference in order to avoid leaving them broke and out of business. Think South Sudan, think Mr president of Business Union. It’s not about you as a successful business man, think of those still struggling to climb the stairs of success in their business. Don’t push them down, give them helping hand by making right decisions that will benefit both the businessmen and the public.” Said Sallah Kenyingo Lasu.
“Omg God come to South Sudanese world!!!. You can’t force market as military forces it regulations in military units. This is totally different culture. If you want the country prices lower, protects civilians and let them farming free without fears of getting attacks and kills.” Said Abraham Jury.
“Someone would say it’s unfair to the business community but on the the same note worse to The common citizens. Many of you might be saying the Law of demand dictates the prices, I think in this country such laws don’t really work. One prices his at a level where he can get 100% profit which I think is abnormal.” Said Marcafarlane Mcama
In addition to call for subsidies and free market, others are concerned that the orders will open new doors for corruption and abuse of power where the security forces or anyone who is carrying a gun will take the law into their own hands.
“But why is he sending us thieves, they security he deployed is threat to our safety and our resources, instead of giving out the numbers of commanders such that we can call by ourselves if things are still sold at high price, he is here sending us hyenas.” Said Rich Kidd Wb
“Prices in the market can only be determined by the forces of demand and supply functions rather than by decrees or order. Substantial supply of goods implies lower prices. Alternatively, government has to maximize subsidy in response to higher prices in the market.” Said another commentator.
The issue of price inflation has toppled supreme leaders in Africa including the Sudanese former president Al-Bashir and the South Sudanese leadership is not taking chances either.
Within this week, President Salva Kiir took it to cabinet and blamed some of his long-term allies for making irresponsible announcements on the government owned South Sudan Broadcasting cooperation.
Others such as the governor of Central Equatoria State have issued decrees this week that ban the parallel market and put in place strict measures to be enforced.
In responses, many businesses are closing down but the government insist that they should carry on with their businesses as usual.
South Sudan’s commidity market is predominantly run by foreign traders from Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya, and it is yet to be seen how these traders will respond to these rampant changes.